Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Crossroads (Crossroads Academy #1) / J.J. Bonds

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Genre: Paranormal/ Young Adult

Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words

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J.J. Bonds is a shameless, self-professed bookaholic who is loud, talks too fast, waves her arms around when she speaks, and has a closet that is positively overflowing with shoes. She is also an Indie author who writes Young Adult Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy. Her debut novel is Crossroads and she lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. You can learn more about her at her web site.


Katia is the sole heir to the single most powerful vampire on the Council, her Great Uncle Aldo Lescinka, who has just enrolled her in the preeminent Crossroads Academy nestled in the Green Mountains of Vermont. With her mysterious past, she has no desire to fit in or make friends. She and Aldo were both hoping her nightmares would fade once she arrived at Crossroads from Romania, but they are changing, growing more frightening, and more frequent. When bodies start showing up around the town of Rutland the whole Academy becomes concerned about exposure and Katia becomes entangled in a web of danger and deceit. Nothing could have prepared her for what she finds here.


Crossroads is an academy boarding school for vampires only. J. J. Bonds has taken great care to reinvent her vampires and their hierarchy in a unique way that I found refreshing. Her vampires actually procreate and it seems the young do not turn until adolescence, where their vampire selves awaken with a ravaging hunger. There is also a blood disease, known as otrava de sange, which threatens to wipe out the born vampires.

The story is told in first person through the eyes of Katia, but she holds her secret past very close so we are not privy to the whole story. She makes a good heroine; she is self confident, assertive, and witty. As the Prologue opens we are thrust into one of Katia’s nightmares, it is engrossing and leaves us with questions that are not answered until the very end. Even Katia does not fully understand what has transpired in the past as Aldo is keeping the whole truth from her. Despite J. J. Bonds wonderful and engrossing prose the secrets that Katia keeps from us readers is frustrating. It keeps us from fully engaging and becoming Katia. I felt cheated by this stylistic choice.

Otherwise the story is pretty typical high school foibles and the conversations and tensions are realistic. Katia is a dedicated student and wants to do well in all areas. One of her areas of study is Martial Arts. I enjoyed her interactions with Nikolai Petrov , an upper classman and teacher’s assistant in her Martial Arts class, who offers Katia one on one training with her fighting and weapons skills. It is clear that a romantic relationship is developing with him, despite Katia’s resistance. I enjoyed this story and felt like Katia’s secrets from us held the story back because Aldo’s reveal at the end was very satisfying. It will be interesting to see how the rest of this series develops now that we know and understand her on a deeper level.

Format/Typo Issues:

I found no significant errors or issues.

Rating: **** Four stars

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