Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might be Half-Dragon

Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might be Half-Dragon
Author: Rena Rocford
Publisher: Curiosity Quills
Pages: 230
Release Date: November 23rd, 2015
Rating: 3/5

Synopsis: Allyson fights acne, not trolls. As an inhaler-carrying member of the asthma society, she just wants to meet the father who turned her mother into a paranoid, move-across-the-nation freak. Now she’s trying to fit in at yet another school, but for the first time in her life, she has a best friend, Beth. When Allyson accidentally spits fire at kidnappers in the mall, she realizes why her father isn’t in the picture: she’s half dragon. Her acne? Emerging scales. Her asthma? The side effects of her dragon’s fire breath. Instead of freaking out, unflappable Beth reveals her own troll heritage and explains how things work with the supernatural creatures hiding within the modern world of smartphones and skyscrapers.

When trolls kidnap a unicorn, Beth gets blamed. Allyson is determined to prove Beth’s innocence and keep her friend off the unicorn chopping block. When they start looking for the kidnappers, they get a call from the last person they expect: Allyson’s father. He tries to warn them off, but he’s been put under a spell by the kidnappers to keep the victims from escaping. Nothing short of death can stop him. Now Allyson must choose between killing the father she’s always dreamed of, or letting her best friend die for a crime she didn’t commit.

Review: I requested a copy of this book for review based on the title and the cover. The cover caught my eye immediately and the title was intriguing to me. So I started reading away once I got my copy from Curiosity Quills Press and I have to say it was a bit of a rough beginning. Before I get into my review, I will start off my saying I did actually end up really liking this book.

I say it was a rough beginning because the first chapter had me feeling rushed, confused, shocked, and annoyed, and not in a good way.

Within the first few pages of the story, Allyson's Half-Dragon heritage is revealed by her best friend just blurting it out to her in 'duh, didn't you know?' sort of way after their random mall trip is interrupted by trolls.

 I was hoping for a bit more mystery leading up to the revelation to the character instead of just having it spat out at her. Also, she seemed to take it a little too well.  For a teenager who just had an earth shattering revelation, she didn't seem too phased.  The whole discovery scenario felt way too rushed.

I would have liked to have a glimpse into Allyson's normal teenage life, more explanation of her friendship, her school life, her home life. I felt like it was all thrown at me with little explanation and I was expected to deal with it.

I did deal with it, but I was left with so many questions! If she had been living in this town for so many months now? Why was all of this only suddenly coming into play? If she could smell the trolls, why couldn't she smell her best friend? If she could smell the Unicorns at school the day after the troll attack, why couldn't she before? Had she just come into her abilities because of her age, because of the attack? Or have they been there all along? We don't really get an explanation... ever.

The one person who might have answers for Allyson shows up for her birthday, her Aunt, and you hope that maybe we'll get an insight into her abilities but then disappears just as quickly. So much for that theory.

A lot of people are missing. Allyson's Dad, Allyson's Aunt, Stephen the unicorn, it's a bit overwhelming. Still, it was at this point in time that I started to get sucked into the story. Two teenagers without a drivers license driving cross country. What could go wrong? Here is went I kind of just fell into the story. Things continue to happen a little too fast for my liking, but I was drawn into the story because I wanted to know what happened next.

Our Heroine is just your average insecure teenage girl with no real home or security. She has only her Mom and they move around the country ever few months so she has no real friends because she's rarely around long enough to make any. This had me intrigued and you do eventually get your answers, sort of, as to why she's on the run (without actually knowing that she's on the run).

What I liked: This story was completely unique in its own way. Sure it had familiar YA themes but most of our books do. I can honestly say I have never read a book quite like this one. Instead of your typical Vampires, Werewolves story we had Dragons, Trolls, Goblins and Unicorns hiding in our everyday life.

Aside from the rushed bits, it was pretty well written and sounded like a teenage point of view. I did feel like our Heroine was a bit uninformed. She finds out she's a dragon in the first few pages, realizes her aunts been giving her dragon statues her whole life and then is given a gift by her aunt who says to take really good care of it and she just goes 'what a piece of junk' and dumps it into the bottom of her backpack. COME ON ALLYSON! Obviously, it's important.

Recommended: Yes. I think you should read it. Once you get past the rushed discoveries there is a cute, unique story there and I will admit I am curious to continue reading about this world. Definitely give it a shot if YA Urban Fantasy is your thing.