I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Journey of John and Julia by Auralia
Length: 5 hours and 30 minutes
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Published by Rigler Creatives Pages: 278
Narrator: Janel Parrish
Buy on Amazon
In this first book of a series about magic, friendship, and adventure, a seemingly mismatched pair of teens crack open the door to another reality.Meet Julia Livingston-Banes: Her dad's taken off to start a new family, and now her mom's decided to ruin her summer, too. Instead of cheerleader camp, Julia's packed off to her grandmother's in the nowhere town of Cedarwood Ridge. There she finds that her usual ice-queen act won't cut it with her childhood friend John Freeman, who's a lot cuter than Julia remembers and not half the geek she thought he was. Definitely a romance in the making, if it weren't for the visitations from her grandfather's ghost and John's infuriatingly open response to such phenomena. Plus, a group of magical beings called The Twenty-Two are secretly watching over John and Julia and making big summer plans of their own. Including John and Julia's future role in saving the world from their nemesis to be, a beyond-evil corporate overlord named Niem Vidalgo Oten. Not that Julia would believe any of it. John, however, would find it way cool.
Check out the Video below for a clip of Janel Parrish and Best Friends Book Club as they discuss this book.
First Thoughts: When I was asked to listen to this book I thought the premise sounded really interesting but it didn’t live up to my expectations.
Julia is a cheerleader and she got on the all star team and was prepared to go to camp with them over the summer when her mother totally changes her plans. She decides that Julia needs to go with her to visit her grandmother for the summer and this total ticks off Julia. Julia goes into things with a foul attitude and the only things she has to look forward to his the boy John who she usually hung out with and that is not really thrilling her. John is a bit of a nerd and open to supernatural happenings as he has talked to his grandfathers ghost, so these 23 beings who have decided to intercede in Julia’s life decides that John might be able to help her. The first meeting for John and Julia that summer doesn’t go very well and one of the beings decides that a face to face encounter is what needs to happen to get Julia to see that she is in control of her own self and needs to realize that her parents divorce had nothing to do with her or their love for her, etc. Or at least that is what I got out of it.
There were several things from the start of John and Julia that I just didn’t understand. Who are these 23 beings that think they need to interfere with Julia’s life and why are they there? Why is it so important to help Julia, I didn’t see anything special about her. She was just an ordinary bratty kid going through a hard time because her parents were divorced. Also, her attitude just really grated on me, I mean if she was my kid I would have probably swatted her on a back side a few times. Though her mother wasn’t the best of moms and seemed more obsessed with her work than her kid, but still. I just never really cared for Julia. I liked John although you don’t really get as much about him so I didn’t have much to go on, but he seemed nice.
Overall, I just felt confusion while reading this book and not real invested in the characters. It might appeal to young girls, especially those who might find themselves feeling a bit like Julia. I just can’t really recommend it to anyone.The narrator is Janel Parrish from Pretty Little Liars and she did a really good job with the narration. She didn’t really do any voices much but she was still easy to listen too. I enjoyed the audio part of this book, just not so much the story.