PJV Quickie: Kelly Oram created a memorable character with Jamie Baker that I fell in love with in the first book, BEING JAMIE BAKER. I swooned over her romance with Ryan and cheered as she triumphed and developed her superpowers. It was a fun, cute and just great overall book. I couldn’t be more pleased with the second book in the series (that I waited FOREVER for!) BEING JAMIE BAKER. Ms. Oram knocked my socks off, her great characters were back again, with even more awesome, even more action and the added benefits of a little more devious behavior from the bad guys! I can’t get enough of Jamie Baker!
The first Jamie Baker book, BEING JAMIE BAKER is probably THE book that I wish more people would read and enjoy like I did. I know a few of you guys have read it and enjoyed, but I feel it hasn’t had the mass love-fest that it deserves. Read these books!
BEING JAMIE BAKER the first book in the series is the coming-of-age aspect of Jamie Baker’s life story. She is learning how to deal with her powers and get over the tragic loss of her boyfriend, which happened in one accident. Her and her boyfriend were in a car accident, where Jamie was doused in chemicals and her boyfriend was killed, giving Jamie superpowers. The accident not only changed Jamie, it also forced her and her parents to move from their home and hide from the accusing eyes of reporters and her fellow townspeople as they blamed her for the death of her boyfriend. The first book introduces covers Jamie getting over her grief, meeting Ryan, who is integral to her learning how to handle both her superpowers and her social awkwardness along with finding love, which she didn’t think she deserved.
The second book picks up when Jamie and Ryan enter college and are now away from their parents, trying to live a normal life. Jamie thinks she has shaken the people that hunt her and is not focused on college life, Ryan and her bestie Becky. At the beginning of the novel we are almost instantly plunged into drama as we are faced with Mike Driscoll, arsehat extraordinaire of the last novel. His appearance sets in a series of events that shape the entire novel though as he tries to apologize to Becky and they realize that he is quite drunk. When Becky doesn’t accept Mike’s apologize (he raped her), in a very public way, he stumbles off angered and into oncoming traffic.
“I had time to recite the Gettysburg Address and still save him, but instead I froze.”
Because of her not saving him, Jamie is racked with guilt. She could have and because of this, because she hated him, because she didn’t even try, Jamie feels like she is a bad person. She also never told Ryan about what happened with him and Becky, so he still continues to maintain his friendship with Mike. It’s a very dramatic interplay between the four characters. Mike is rushed to the hospital, where he remains in a coma, the focus of guilt for Jamie and Becky alike.
In the meantime, another character is introduced, the “mystery guy” that is hinted at in the blurb.
“Teodoro Vivenzio. It’s Italian.”
Jamie, hardly notices Teddy at first, forgetting his name, only paying attention to him because she hopes he might be a love-interest for Becky. With a little prodding though, she finds out that Teddy has no interest in Becky and instead is focused almost creepily on Jamie. He seems like a nice guy though and Jamie doesn’t want to blow him off, just because he has amorous aspirations for the two of them. Yet, with the sudden introduction of Teddy in her life and the crazy accident with Mike, Jamie starts to notice that she might not be off the radar at all, like she had hoped. Walking around campus she begins to notice that she might have tails, men dress inappropriately for college-life, comically reading newspapers to stay hidden, toting around large telephoto lenses. Could Visticorp be following her again? What is their agenda? And who can she trust?
It was quite a story, full of the usual Kelly Oram goodness: angst, drama, adventure, laughter, action and swoon-worthy moments between Ryan and Jamie. I couldn’t find a thing wrong with book – except maybe the fact that book three is not in my hands at this moment so I can read it. Because there is a cliffhanger and one HELL of a cliffhanger. I am giving serious thoughts about stalking Ms. Oram until I can get her to hand over book 3….REMEMBER JAMIE BAKER. Okay, I’m just kidding, Kelly please don’t call the cops on me!
Why are these book so great? Let me list the ways…
- Great characters
- Kick-butt heroine
- Hot, hunky lover boy
- Real issues on top of the paranormal ones
- Exceptional dialogue
- Quirky writing
- Plot twists that aren’t transparent
“Carter downloaded the photo to his computer and then handed my phone back with another over-the-top sigh. “Now get out of here, Jamielynn,” he said in a tired voice, “before you turn all my hair gray.”
As I backed out of his cubical, I looked up at his hairline, which was only slightly receding, and left him with the parting words of, “What hair?””
Recommendations: For fans of fun young adult paranormal reads, this book is for you, even if you want to transition from contemporary to paranormal, these books might be just what you are looking for. There is a rape situation, but it is only talked about as an issue and not described or recounted. These are suitable for younger teens.