Monday, October 14, 2013

Visions series by Lisa McMann (books 1 and 2))

Crash - Book one

"She can't believe her eyes."

Jules Demarco has harbored a crush on Sawyer Angotti since they played together during indoor recess in the first grade. Her family runs Demarco Pizzeria restaurant. She is shunned at school because she smells like pizza. The family lives in an apartment over their restaurant. Her father suffers from depression and is a hoarder so she never invites friends over. Her mother is the driving force behind the business since her father stays in the apartment most days. The middle of three children, Jules is further shunned at school by the vehicle she drives. For advertising, her mother has her drive their food truck. It has two giant meatballs on the roof but she get ten bucks a week from her older brother not to have to be seen anywhere near it. Most of the students at her school like Angotti's Trattoria restaurant better, owned by Sawyer's family. Friends throughout school, Sawyer's father made him break of their friendship in the seventh grade when he discovered it. Their families have feuded for years. Supposedly, the Angotti's stole the sauce recipe from the Demarco's and now sell it by the jar in local stores.

Every few days, Jules sees the same vision. Sometimes it moves, like on the movie screen the first time she experienced it. Other times it is still like a picture and always on a Jose Cuervo billboard down the street. No matter how Jules' experiences the vision, it is always the same; "a careening tuck hits a building and explodes. Then nine body bags in the snow." One night after a busy day in the food truck and night in the restaurant, Jules sits down to relax and finish watching a movie on the DVR. After collecting her money for the week from her brother, Jules hits play expecting to see the movie. Instead, her vision occurs. Backing up the footage, she watches it play out on the TV several times in slow motion. The last frame is a scene she hasn't noticed before; a close-up of three of the body bags. On closer inspection, Jules notices that one of the bags is unzipped and the head of a dead body is exposed. Much to her horror, the face Jules sees is that of Sawyer Angotti.

Her visions are becoming more frequent and in more places than ever before. Jules is constantly checking to see if Sawyer is still alive. On a Saturday night when a group of her classmates come in, she waits on their table. When she tries to take their order and asks "What sounds good tonight?" She gets "Angotti’s sounds good but they're closed." Panicking, she rushes out and goes to their apartment. She turns on the TV and searches for a phone book. A gardening show is on but suddenly the sound is mute. Looking up, Jules sees her vision again but this time it is longer. The building catches on fire and she notices new details about the structure. She is upset because she doesn't know what to do about the vision. After getting Angotti's phone number, she calls. A man answers and informs her that the restaurant is closed for the night for a family wedding reception but will reopen the next day. She wants to ask about Sawyer but the caller asks if she is Jules. She confesses that it is and Sawyer tells her that he recognized he voice. That and her family's name came up on the Caller ID? He wants to know if she is spying for her family but she tells him that she wanted to know why they were closed since they never are and to make sure things were okay. Hearing her mother coming to check on her, Jules whispers that's he is sorry and hangs up the phone. She reassures her mother that she is alright and her mother tells her to rest and bit and leaves. Then the phone rings and the Caller ID shows that it is Angotti's Trattoria. Jules doesn't answer the phone.

Jules continues to study her vision on the TV in order to glean some more details and guesses that it might be the back of Angotti's. She sketches out the new details and makes plans to check to see if she is right about her assumption.

What is really happening in Jules' vision? Who else besides Sawyer Angotti is in the body bags that she sees? Why is she having these visions? What happens when Jules works up her nerve and tells Sawyer about her vision? Is she able to save his life?

Readers will be clamoring for the next book.

Bang - Book two

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read Crash! Stop! I don't want to ruin the series for you.

"They never saw it coming."

It has been a week since Jules Demarco received her first kiss from the boy she has loved since the first grade. And one week since Sawyer Angotti first saw his vision. Unlike Jules, Sawyer's vision includes sound, eleven gunshots in fact. With Jules' father unable to let go of his feud with the Angotti family, Jules and Sawyer find their stolen moments together too few for her to really help Sawyer. Before too long, the reoccurring frequency of the vision increases for him and he figures out that it pertains to a school shooting. Together in their determination to save those in the vision, Jules is helping Sawyer make sense of what he is seeing.

Will Jules and Sawyer be able to unravel the clues from his vision in time to alter it? Can they save lives? What happens when their respective families learn about their relationship? Will Jules' father be able to cope?

The Visions series concludes in 2014 with Gasp.

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