“Trance” by Linda Gerber (2010)

It begins as a subtle vibration, a tingling.

There is time to take only one breath.

The trance begins.

When it is through, Ashlyn is certain of two things …

Someone she knows is about to die, and …

She is powerless to stop it.

Capsule Description: Ashlyn has a gift, one that she can’t control, one that she can’t understand. If she could have understood it, her mother might still be alive. As it is, she’s all alone, and her gift is telling her that someone else is about to die, but who and how is still a mystery.

Description: Ashlyn (and her older sister Kyra) have the gift of precognition. The gift comes suddenly, gives them incoherent visions and leaves them remembering a strange series of numbers. What is worse, one of those visions, had they been able to decypher it, could have saved their mother. Now Kyra is gone, someplace their workaholic father won’t reveal, and Ashlyn is left alone, not only having to deal with the guilt over her mother’s death but also in dealing with her gift that doesn’t stop occurring. Its only by the help of her friend and co-worker, whose mystical knowledge helps her figure out the mysterious numbers and understand the identity of the next person to die.

Commentary: This book doesn’t exactly deal with any form of hypnosis or anything related, but when I saw the image on the cover, I knew I just had to put it in the collection. Just finding it, too was quite the coincidence: I was at the local convention venue, attending a different event, when I saw there was a room next door where a Scholastic Books distributor had set up. Being the book lover I am, I wandered through, and spotted the cover across the room. After picking it up and reading the back cover, it was pretty obvious that the “trance” of the title was not anything externally imposed but something resulting from the heroine’s internal gift.

Recommendation: For a YA (high school) book, its pretty good. The natural and supernatural problems Ashlyn is forced to endure are well described and the reader is led to sympathize strongly with her.

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