Transcendent by Katelyn Detweiler

klf624's review against another edition

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I really enjoyed this book. It's is the second book that follows up on the author's first book but I honestly think I enjoyed reading this one first. Now I'm curious to go back and read her mother's story which was the first book. The author did a wonderful job keeping the plot interesting and I enjoyed the uniqueness of the concept. The book was also very well written. It really makes you sit back and wonder about the reality of miracles and how big or little of a difference they make in order to determine something as being miraculous. Looking forward to reading the first book and hoping for a follow up to this book as it leaves the option open to continue the storyline!

tiareleine's review against another edition

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3.5 stars

Immaculate was one of my favorite books of 2015. As soon as I finished it, I wanted more from Katelyn Detweiler. So, naturally, when Transcendent was announced, I was beyond excited.

Unfortunately, not every one of any author's books can be every reader's favorite.

Transcendent didn't live up to my expectations. They were quite high, I admit, so I suppose it may have been impossible for Transcendent to meet them. But still, I feel compelled to say how and why I feel like the book let me down, so that other potential readers know what to expect when going from Immaculate to Transcendent (and, really, even though they aren't technically a series, you should read Immaculate before you read Transcendent. Trust me on this.).

First of all, I didn't like the main character as much. Immaculate follows a girl named Mina Dietrich who becomes pregnant, despite being a virgin; Transcendent follows her daughter, Iris, who finds out about her strange beginning and feels compelled to fulfill the destiny set for her by all the people who see her as a miracle.

Iris got on my nerves. First of all, she's seventeen years old and she's running around talking about how she's old enough to know what's best for herself. Newsflash, Iris, you're a minor, and (as much as no teenager would accept the label) a child. Second of all, she spends a good portion of the book angry with her parents for 'betraying' her by not telling her the truth about her conception. Ignoring, for a start, that there's really no way for her parents to have explained her conception to her when she was younger (and would she really have wanted them to?), I'd like to point out that the whole "How dare you not tell me the truth about myself!" trope is completely ridiculous. How were her parents supposed to tell her the truth any sooner? Slight rant ahead, be warned.
SpoilerSmall children are untrustworthy. You have no idea who they're going to tell what, you can't give them access to information that they might go spreading around because they don't understand that it's important to keep to themselves. And if you were to ask them to keep it a secret? Who knows what kind of weird, twisted lesson they would learn from that. How can you teach a child that it's good to be honest while also telling them to keep a massive secret?

I also had a harder time getting a grasp on the supporting cast than with Immaculate. I didn't feel like I knew Iris' friends as well as I knew Mina's friends. And, even though Iris' parents were the main characters of Immaculate, I didn't feel like I knew them as well as I knew Mina's parents.

Although, to be fair, I thought that Zane and Zoey were very well developed, and I think they were my favorite characters in this book.

I think part of the problem was that Immaculate was a much more personal story, and its focus was much more tangible. Mina was dealing with something that impacted her and her immediate family, so there was time and space for each character's reaction to be fleshed out; Iris was dealing with something broader and more removed from herself. It was harder for her to have a deep, emotional connection with thousands of victims than it was for Mina to have a deep, emotional connection with the journey she was on, therefore it was more difficult for me to have an emotional connection with Iris' journey than with Mina's. Also, Mina was dealing with something concrete; Iris was dealing with something sort of nebulous and not quite real. There was a lot more internal monologue, a lot more of Iris thinking through the problem, and, while her observations were often quite insightful, they weren't enough to carry the book.

Like I said before, the parts with Zane and Zoey were the best parts. When Iris was at the shelter with them, when she was at their uncle's house with them, I felt like something was really happening then. Iris was learning something, experiencing something new.

I wish I could say I liked Transcendent more. I really really wish that I could, because it was one of my most anticipated books of this year. That being said, I am looking forward to whatever Katelyn Detweiler writes next. Like I said at the beginning of the review; not every one of any author's books can be every reader's favorite. But just because I didn't love one, that doesn't mean I can't love all the rest.

thecanary's review against another edition

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I got this book through Penguin's First to Read program. This is a what-if story. Teenage Iris discovers that she might be divinely chosen to save the world. And knowing that, the book explores the choices Iris makes and how her friends and family support her as she makes her way in the newly chaotic and unfamiliar world full of desperate people hungry for salvation.

Iris is definitely something special, but even with a few mystical happenings here and there, the story is careful to keep the possibilities open. Perhaps Iris has powers. Or perhaps faith and hope is what makes the difference, and there is no magic.

I initially thought the book would be adventure and suspense, and while there is some of that, a lot of the story is about relationships and an inward journey of self-discovery and reflection. Throughout, as Iris deals with teenage issues like first love, new and old friendships, parental boundaries and the consequences of actions, she carries herself with grace and compassion rarely seen in people thrice her age. From her volunteer work in the soup kitchens to the way she draws the misfits in her school under her wing, she instinctively stands up for what's right and, reaching deep into herself and doing and saying all the right things.

Less about adventure, this story is about free will, family and the transformative power of hope and forgiveness. Definitely not my cup of tea, but the story is a well-written yarn with an intriguing mystery of whether Iris is (or is not) the messiah.

briarsreviews's review against another edition

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Transcentdent by Katelyn Detweiler is a unique YA novel.

To start this review off, I have to admit that this book was definitely not for me. I did not enjoy this book even though I typically love YA novels. I dig the whole "only, special person" trope and love peeking into dystopian worlds. Unfortunately, this book just didn't hit me the right way. Katelyn had an absolutely stunning tone and writing style and I'm sure many other readers will enjoy this book.

This book has an interesting plot: A bomb goes off at Disney World and the world is in ruins. The happiest place on earth is now not so happy. All of this happens due to all of the negativity in this world - because terrorists suck, of course. In comes Iris, the teen girl we are following. Turns out, she's "special". Her Mom had a virgin birth and she is essentially the second becoming of Jesus Christ. She can help heal people and make people happy. Her parents don't want her to become famous and take advantage of these powers. She struggles with her sense of self, meets a cute boy, and ends of deciding what to do by the end.

This book had a lot of potential for me, but it fell flat. A lot of the book felt like everyday activities and not much plot. Throw in a romance that didn't need to be there, and I felt... cheated. If the romance would have had more meaning to the story, I probably would have liked it a little bit more. It felt like the romance was there to fit into the YA mold. Similarly, there was one terrorist attack and... that was it? So we needed a girl to come out after a terror attack at one public place? That's... kind of normal these days. If there would have been more terror or horrors, I think it would have made more sense. The amount of good Iris can do didn't exactly match the level of bad one terror attack is (in comparison to our everyday events now. Terrorism is still awful, don't get me wrong).

The book was lacking for me. I had hoped it would pick up speed or add a reason for the romance (Jesus had Mary Magdalene so maybe that could have been brought in?). With all of the religious references, I wish it would have went full force or not at all on it.

And then the book just... exists. There was a lot of substance and descriptions but not a lot of plot. I'm the type of person who needs fast plots, lots of drama, and that good heaping of romance. It just didn't have enough of each for my liking.

So, you might be thinking this review sounds mighty negative. And yes, I feel kinda bad about that since Katelyn's writing was INCREDIBLE. I love how she describes things and I love her tone. Her writing style matched my reading style and I want to read more by her in the future for sure! I would absolutely support her. Unfortunately, we can't like all of the books we read.

Side note: This book is a sequel apparently! Iris's Mom has her own book!

One out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

heath62008's review

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I just couldn't get interested in this book. It had destroyed one of my favorite parks. Disney

adaynasmile's review

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I got a preview of this book through

Transcendent explores the life of a teenage girl who is caught between the desire to be normal and the desire to help the world around her.

Iris lives in a world in which Disneyworld has been bombed. Hope is in short supply as families were torn apart and children are hospitalized with serious injuries from the explosion.

One day a strange man shows up at Iris' house and turns her world upside down. Iris learns the truth of her birth and is faced with a decision to make on how to handle the truth.

While I enjoyed the writing and the characters, I was a bit underwhelmed with the story itself. I felt as though it could have been a story of more magic and a little more explaination for why Iris was the special child that she was.

The brief love story is nice but it felt uncomplete. It just felt like it needed more. In 440 pages, I expected the story to be a bit more exciting and eventful. Some of the charactets never got developed and I was sad not to learn more about certain characters.

I look forward to what the author may come up with in the future as her writing has promise. A more developed story, however, would be ideal.

michelecisneros's review

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I received a copy of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review. This wasn't exactly what I was expecting. I was thinking this would be more of a dystopian world with a chosen one type story. It wasn't that. It wasn't a bad book but I was expecting more fantasy and more magical elements than just the magic of her birth.

bookcaptivated's review

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I was given an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

This isn't what I expected it to be but I liked it. Sometimes you get tired of dystopian settings with the one true savior to put everything right. I'm happy this book was more realistic. I do think it was a tad bit long.

thefox22's review

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So, the writing was easy to fall into, but the problem is that I just found this story ridiculous. I just don’t believe that main character is this fucking special. I could not understand what was so brilliant about her character that separated her from everyone in the world, that stuck her on a pedestal and made everything about the bombing at Disney World better for some of those affected by it. Also, she spent the first 250 pages HIDING from life because she needed time to accept this. Like I get why; obviously everything about how she was born is enough to make any person run away for a bit. But the book was more about Iris and her new “responsibility” and her figuring out who she is than it’s about the people who were destroyed by the bombing. Like I was kind of expecting more from this in that regard because Kirkus said something about the “the chilling plausibility of the actions and reactions of an America dealing with the murders of thousands of children,” but I didn’t see that? There was hardly any focus on anything other than Iris' past and secret. I did love the messages of forgiveness and hope, of overcoming grief and pain. And I do believe that some people have this innate charisma and compassion that can turn others’ days around. But like I said, I didn’t believe that Iris was special enough to cause all of this happiness. The book also didn’t pack a super emotional punch for me, but that’s probably because I didn’t feel much for Iris, even though she wasn’t a terrible character. Transcendent definitely had some good points to it, but the overall storyline just did not work for me. I couldn't really suspend my disbelief to appreciate it.

Rating: 2.5 Paw Prints!