The Seven Rays by Jessica Bendinger


As a major fan of Bring It On and Stick, I saw this book and HAD to buy it. Jessica Bendinger’s screenplays were so fun (not necessarily believable teen behavior but the kind of thing teens quote after the fact) that I hoped this would be up to par. But instead I was disappointed by this over the top, too complicated book.

Beth is an ordinary straight A student until she starts seeing weird things around people (lines and dots and knots) and gets a letter that tells her she is more than she thinks she is. It turns out, those weird things she’s seeing is actually the start of her growing abilities. She makes a close connection with a guy from her college courses, her abilities develop further so that she can feel/see the past of anything and anyone she touches, she gets mysterious letters from 7RI, and her mother starts acting strangely. After a brief stint in a mental institute, she and Richie, her crush, run away to New York to learn the truth of her abilities. The trip because even more dire when Beth learns that if she doesn’t get to New York her mother will die.

The book has a few unexpected twists but it sacrificed believability and relate-ability for intrigue and fantasy. For example, Beth started seeing strange things so she got surgery. Like it is that easy. If there was something wrong with her eyes, there would be something to fix. What doctor would just arbitrarily give her surgery without checking what was wrong? [SPOILER: Beth also discovers that part of her legacy is that she is expected to have seven children with seven different men in a short span of time and that if she has sex with them more than once it will slowly kill them.]

The further into the book I read, the weirder and more uncomfortable is became. It was not for me and I have no interest in reading the sequel.

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