Title: Sleight (Book One of the AVRA-K)
Author: Jennifer Sommersby
Publisher: Accendo Press
Publication Date: March 23, 2011
paperback, 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1461049111
Genre: YA
Available @ Amazon

Her mom is dead.
Ghosts follow her around.
Her best friend is an elephant.
And she’s about to meet the biggest game changer of all: a boy. With a secret.
When circus-dwelling Gemma Flannery learns she will be attending public school for the first time in her seventeen years, little does she know that fitting in with her 12th-grade classmates will be the least of her concerns. A pro at hiding her knack for seeing the dead (“shades”), Gemma is grieving the recent suicide of her mentally ill mother, a process eased by the introduction of her first real love interest, the charming and painfully handsome Henry Dmitri, who is harboring his own collection of dangerous secrets. Together, they will be presented with a frightening challenge: to assume their roles as heirs to a 3000-year-old magical text, the AVRAKEDAVRA, a book the ├╝ber-rich, sleight-of-being master Lucian Dmitri would do anything to get his hands on. As each terrifying layer in her new reality melts away, Gemma unearths truths that her quiet, nomadic life with the Cinzio Traveling Players is not at all what she’d always cherished. Gemma and Henry must rely on each other to stop Lucian’s diabolical plotting that will bring the world to its tired, scab-riddled knees, and are sent on the flight of their young lives, to save themselves, their families, and the world from the darkest kind of destruction.
Let the chase begin. 

Sleight is a wonderfully written novel by Jennifer Sommersby. Sleight is about a girl named Gemma Flannery. Gemma has had an unusual upbringing. For most of her life she has traveled with the Cinzio Traveling Players which is a traveling circus. Gemma is raised by Marlene and Ted. They've cared for Gemma since she was little. Gemma's mother recently committed suicide after suffering for a long time with mental illness. Gemma's father is unknown. Gemma also has a secret, she can see dead people. On top of all this she's being forced to attend public high school. Despite her anxiety over school she meets Henri Dmitri. Henry is the son of the town benefactor, Lucian Dmitri. Despite who his father is, Henry is much more reserved and a bit of a loner. Gemma and Henry form an instant friendship. However they are soon forced together to stop a madman from destroying everything they care about.
This story is definitely different from other stories I've read. I especially enjoyed the circus setting.  It really added to the ambiance of the book. The performers of the circus are in a way an extended family for Gemma. They all look out for her. 
Gemma has not had an easy life. Sure, she's had people who cared about her but she's also had the stigma of  having a mentally ill mother. Gemma can also see dead people which makes her life, to say the least, complicated. Gemma is a good character. She is caring, smart and loyal. She learns a lot of heavy information in a short amount of time and is forced to deal with it. The only thing I didn't like about her character is that I thought she cried too much. Gemma relies on Henry's support a great deal. They have great chemistry together. And by chemistry I mean some hot smooches between the two. Henry has a bit of a rough history himself. I think that's what brings them closer together. Henry is very overprotective of Gemma.
The story is set at a fast moving pace. I enjoyed the action and the mystery. I also enjoyed the history behind the 3000 year old text, AVRAKEDAVRA. I also like that Jennifer Sommersby included quotes from other books at the beginning of each chapter. I love it when authors do this. I enjoy reading them. This is the first book in this series. Jennifer Sommersby ended Sleight with a cliffhanger. I love and hate cliffhangers at the same time. I can't wait to find out what will happen next. Overall I really like Sleight. It is a great start to this series. If you haven't checked out this book yet, you need to. 

Disclosure: There is a bit of violence, some underage drinking and an attempted rape scene. 

My rating:

For more information on this series and the author, check out her: 

*I received this book from the author in exchange for a review. This in no way influenced my opinion. 


  1. I really loved this book! Glad you did too =]

    The Cait Files

  2. Hmm the setting partly in the circus is interesting. And the relationship between Gemma and Henry sounds spicy yet sweet! =) Nice review!!

  3. I really want to read this one! thanks for the review!!


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