Friday, April 13, 2012

Book Review: Borrowing Abby Grace by Kelly Green

by Kelly Green 

Genre: Mystery/Paranormal
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publication Date: October 16, 2011
Source: Kindle Store
Age Rating: 12+
When Abby Grace wakes up in the back of a van, she has no idea who she is, how she got there, or why anyone would want to kidnap her. After escaping her masked captors, she hurries home, only to discover that she unknowingly left her younger brother behind in the van. Unable to answer the police’s questions with her memories gone, she retreats to the safety of her bedroom where she tries to reconstruct her life. Just as she is settling into the belief that things will one day return to normal, she looks in the mirror—and sees a stranger’s face.

As Abby learns next, she has become a Shadow, sent to inhabit the lives of strangers in trouble. With nothing to go on except the vague hints of her cute but maddening Guardian, a 19th century ghostly teenager named Will, Abby sets out to rescue the missing brother. But she will need all of her intelligence, fearlessness, and wit, because if she fails to find him in time, she will remain trapped in this unfamiliar body forever. 

My Review

Borrowing Abby Grace is a little book I'd been meaning to read for a while and finally did. It's a very short and cheap ebook-only story, so it was a no-brainer for me to give it a try...

  • Plot: Abby Grace is a Shadow, a mystical being, formerly human, who inhabits the bodies of living people who need her to solve their problems. But, her problem is that she has amnesia upon first inhabiting her new body and doesn't remember anything about herself. She is in the process of being kidnapped when she first comes to, in the beginning, and manages to get away. Then, discovering who she is and who she's pretending to be takes her on a wild Nancy Drew-like mystery solving journey. The main objective of this episode is for Abby to find the kidnapped younger brother of Brooke, the girl whose body she's inhabiting.
  • Characters: Abby is a funny girl, apparently a teenager herself, though she has no body. We never find out why she is a Shadow, or rather, she never finds out how the whole “shadowing” process works and why she's a part of it. The other presence in the story is a boy her age named Will, who is like a ghost, and he's there to help her out. He can't tell her how to solve her mysteries, or anything about who she's supposed to be helping, but he can tell her some things about what is expected of her, how much time she has to complete her mission, and the consequences if she doesn't complete it on time. Clearly, he has an important function, but I can't form an opinion of Will because he simply isn't in the story enough.
  • Technical Writing: It's good and written in a believable YA voice. Abby has probably been leaping around from body to body (kind of like Quantum Leap) recently, since she's aware of modern technology and knows how to use it, even with amnesia.
  • Storytelling: It's supposed to be an homage to the Nancy Drew mysteries of yesteryear, but I can't even draw that comparison because I never read any Nancy Drew. My older sisters loved those books, but they're ten years older than me, and I just had no interest. I thought the books were outdated, but, that was how I felt as a kid. (Don't kill me!) Still, I thought the mystery was done really well insofar as mysteries are concerned, and I never saw the climax coming. It wasn't predictable, and Abby did her job, even helping to repair a broken family at the end. It was very sweet.
  • Overall Quality: Great. I wasn't sure what to think when I first started reading, but it quickly became a fast, fun, engaging story as Abby tried to figure out so many different unknowns all at once. I'm surprised it could be done within such a short space (40 pages).
  • Favorite Scene/Moment: Easy. The scene where Abby sings a solo as Brooke (who has a killer voice) in the choir concert. She didn't know the words to “Danny Boy,” so she started making up stuff around the middle of the song—stuff about Danny losing his teddy bear and eating a hamburger. Then, in the middle of her solo, she takes off, chasing after a kid she believes is connected to the little brother's kidnapping, leaving the entire audience completely O__O. I laughed out loud at the pure Randomy McRandom-ness of it all!
  • My Score: 4 stars out of 5.

Buy this ebook from | Amazon | for $2.51. 


  1. I have this book and tried reading it, but just couldn't get into it. Maybe UT was just my mood, though. It's an interesting premise. I would want an explanation for the shadow abilities.
    Btw, no judging on the Nancy Drew thing. I couldn't get into
    those either.
    Great review, Cathy!

    1. @Andrea: It's not for everyone. I liked it for the Quantum Leap aspect of it, since I loved that show as a kid. Glad to know I'm not the only one who couldn't get into Nancy Drew!

  2. Wow, great review! I am always looking for well-written stuff that is short. The choir scene you describe sounds hilarious!

    1. @Camille: Thanks! I hope you like this one. It is very short, but worthwhile reading.

  3. Is this an independent book? I didn't see a publisher anywhere, although I didn't look very hard either. :-P

    This book sounds really interesting to me. I love the concept of the chick being able to steal people's bodies. For the price, you couldn't really go wrong either. This is going on my TBR list for sure. To bad it's getting really long now. :-(

    Helping run a book review blog never leaves a short list.

    Oh well, thank you for creating more work for me. :-P Seriously though, I wouldn't have known about this book without your review.

    Hippies, Beauty, and Books. Oh My!

    1. @Jon: I think it's published by an indie house, not an indie author, but I could be wrong. Either way, it's a fun little story. Thanks for your comment!

  4. Huh, this one sounds intriguing and I love that it's short. I'll have to read it to catch up on my Goodreads challenge. ;)

    1. @Jenny: It's perfect for any challenge because it's so short.

  5. Since I started blogging, whenever I come across a short book I feel like dancing. This one sounds very much like a book by Aussie author Rebecca Lim about an angel who also jumps from person to person helping them solve their problems. I really enjoyed that one so this sounds like it'll be a good read for me as well.

    1. @Lan: Same here! I love how short this one is. Total dream for book bloggers. Yeah, if you liked that book, then you might like this one, too.


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