Title: Ask Me
Author: Kimberly Pauley
Release Date: April 8th 2014
Publisher: Soho Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: ARC borrowed for blog tour
Ask Aria Morse anything, and she must answer with the truth. Yet she rarely understands the cryptic words she‘s compelled to utter. Blessed—or cursed—with the power of an Oracle who cannot decipher her own predictions, she does her best to avoid anyone and everyone.
But Aria can no longer hide when Jade, one of the few girls at school who ever showed her any kindness, disappears. Any time Aria overhears a question about Jade, she inadvertently reveals something new, a clue or hint as to why Jade vanished. But like stray pieces from different puzzles, her words never present a clear picture.
Then there’s Alex, damaged and dangerous, but the first person other than Jade to stand up for her. And Will, who offers a bond that seems impossible for a girl who’s always been alone. Both were involved with Jade. Aria may be the only one who can find out what happened, but the closer she gets to solving the crime, the more she becomes a target. Not everyone wants the truth to come out.Ask Me was a surprising read. I read the blurb before I cracked the book open but somehow, most of the things in it still came at me unexpectedly, and coupled with the thick suspense and mystery, I couldn't read fast enough.
Aria Morse has a unique ability: answers spew out of her mouth for every question that she hears. But because it's an ability she can't control, she views it as a curse that prevents her from being a normal teenager who has friends aside from her grandparents. But one day, a girl's disappearance rocks her quiet town, attracting lots of questions, and this time, her curse may actually prove to be a gift.
What surprised me first was how cryptic Aria's answers were - they were so much like her last name - and they made me laugh even during serious moments. And that's how it is for me when it comes to books or movies: make me laugh and I'm sold.
"Have you seen Jade?" Delilah asked me, her bright red fingernails cutting into my elbow.
"Not me, no, not I. Not today, not today, she's gone away." I bit my tongue, hoping there were no more verses. I hated the singsong answers most of all.
This book is one of those I'd deem unputdownable. It was very easy to read and I doubt anyone wouldn't be rushing to get to the end, but that doesn't mean it was perfect. Because the story basically revolved around Aria having it, I would've liked to have known earlier on in the story all the technicalities and the history of her ability. It only works when someone else does the asking, so what about during written exams? (I'm guessing it doesn't work then, but it wasn't stated outright!)
Then there was the question of just who the eff was the killer. There were two clear choices, but around halfway through the book I'd already guessed it. And because she's had it for years, you'd think Aria would know how to use her gift effectively. I get that the answers were, more often than not, exasperating, but with a killer on the loose, I'd have gone at it until I at least knew if I were going to be safe or not. I would also count Aria's longing to connect with other people aside from her grandparents as another snag in the story because it, ultimately, only brought her into deeper trouble, but that was natural, was it not? A bit childish and stupid, but all the more realistic.
Compelling and exciting, Ask Me isn't something I'd give to hardcore mystery fans, but for someone like me who's easily entertained, it was more than satisfying. Oh, and music lovers will enjoy this, too, because at the beginning of each chapter are a few lines of lyrics from various songs. I was devastated when I realized I hadn't jotted down the song titles before I passed on the ARC to the next tour participant; thank goodness the author has it on her website.
MY FAVORITE PART was the acrostic poem realization. I got chills.