July 06, 2013

Review: The Year of the Great Seventh by Teresa Orts

The Year of the Great Seventh

Sophie has always felt out of step — an outsider, even amongst friends in her high school with all the hype about celebrity culture. Her life in L.A. seems to have been already written for her, but when her junior year starts, it all takes a drastic turn. When she crosses paths with the school's heartthrob, Nate Werner, they fall for each other in a way neither can understand. What they don’t know is that by giving in to their desires, they are unlocking an ancient Egyptian prophecy that threatens to return Earth to the dark ages.
To undo the curse, Nate and Sophie embark on an adventure that takes them across the country. But their quest is not only to save the world as they know it. It is also a fight for their very survival. Behind the scenes, there are those that are counting on them to fail.

Long Story Short:

The Year of the Great Seventh is a good book for everyone looking for something more extraordinary. The unique mix of themes  planted into your general YA environment and executed by (mostly) normal teenagers made the novel realistic, but also fun. Teresa Orts kept me guessing throughout the whole book. At the end, I wasn't blown away, but I did find myself entertained and happy to not have skipped this one.

Review for You:

Not bad, not bad. I've got to say I'm quite impressed. Admittedly, I was genuinely intrigued by the idea of combining high school drama, Hollywood glam and egyptian mythology. And not in a cynical way. I was just really curious how Orts would manage to bring those three together....and I found myself quite surprised as to how it worked out.
The plot is what Orts gets a big huge applause for. No matter what she did, it kept me entertained. Not glued to the pages, not really, but it wasn't difficult to pick the book up again and wonder what would happen next.
We jumped from Sophie's home and school to Hollywood premieres and parties to historical museums and eventually, halfway across the US - without ever feeling rushed or not rushed enough.
Whatever the setting, whatever the journey, Orts never had explanations and descriptions too long or short.
When it comes to writing, there were a few odd moments. In general, it was easy to follow Orts's writing style. It's not too special, but it also didn't bother me. The only thing I found really annoying was how once in a while, Orts would completely forget that Sophie is a teenager and therefore might sit on the bed "cross-legged" - but by no means "in the lotus position".
There were several of those expressions. I'm not going to lie, I had to look some words up. I mean, sure, you can guess from the context what they mean, but in a book that's written mostly towards a teenage audience, please don't use words most college students wouldn't know (or, at least, use)! It's not only annoying, missplaced, and looking kind of stand-off-ish, it's also just plain unnecessary and downgraded the book a bit for me,
Along with that went the way Orts tended to tell a story. You know those authors who show and not tell? Well, Orts did show. And it was good. Way better than I expected. But then, almost every time, she added an explanation to the information she already showed me. Her characters, especially Sophie and Nate, developed well - there was no need to explain why they did certain things, made their decisions the way they did.
Coming to the side characters, I was a bit annoyed with them. They were one-dimensional for the most part and definitely came short. Sophie's friends were either not home anyway, but traveling the world as teenage movie stars, or they were on the phone for two minutes and then said their goodbyes. Her parents were a little better, especially Sophie's dad was not only sympathetic, but pretty realistic, too. Her mom, though, had  me irritated. It seemed like Orts couldn't decide who that woman was supposed to be. The ambitious Hollywood mom or the caring one who wants nothing but her child's happiness???
What's definitely special about The Year of the Great Seventh is the mix of themes as I mentioned in the beginning. This way, the book wasn't loaded with mythology -which is what usually makes me leave mythology books on the shelves. The romance peaked out here and there which I LOVED. Again, because it wasn't too much, our lovebirds weren't obsessed with each other, but they still had some cute scenes together.
All in all, this is certainly a unique and interesting book. It's not something you absolutely have to read, but if you're looking for something out of your average YA,definitely check this book out!


  1. Sounds like the romance portion was great, but the editing could have been sharper. I'll definitely keep this one in mind. And Egyptian mythology? Awesome! :-)

  2. This does sound interesting. Egyptian mythology + Hollywood + high school does sound like an intriguing mix. I might have to check this one out. Great review!


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