Book Review: Kharishma by Jenny L.R. Nay

 photo Kharishma by Jenny L.R. Nay.jpg Title: Kharishma
By: Jenny L.R. Nay Jenny L.R. Nay
Categories / Themes: native Americans, tradition, young adult, coming of age, paranormal, nature.
Read: 06th January, 2015 – 07th January, 2015
Rating: 5 / 5
Obtained: free eCopy from the author in return for an honest review.
Crossposted Review to: Goodreads

Kharishma by Jenny L.R. Nay is about Khari, a young girl of native American origins. She works in London, in the fashion industry… Finding strange new feelings, she begins finding various bees and the odd desire to return home to Oregon, something that she had been planning for some time now. Once she arrives there, she finds it uncomfortable to be around the people she had once known in her younger years. She has also found new friends, the insects and find that the bees she had been finding in London had travelled there just to see her. Through the things happening in her everyday life, the things told to her by the insects and her family, she finds that she is being drawn to find the land belonging to her tribe. That is, before someone else does and tries to take it as a selfish conquest.

The characters are completely enthralling and even the supporting characters have quirks or values that keep them interesting. Many of the people in the book feel very natural, which is unusual for me. The author has written these characters very well so that all of them have their own part to play. Each one of these characters is relatable in some aspect and I can consider the perspectives of each of these people, understanding their actions and their part to play in the story. The book is very special in that way, that I can even take on the perspective of the bad guy and find that I can understand his position. In the same light, I can understand Khari’s choices and thoughts, finding myself equally inquisitive as she on her journey and curious to know more about her past, as well as the history of her people.

The plot is interesting too. It begins fairly simply, with a young girl moving away from London. We find that she is someone we can relate to, someone who forgets to put the bin out before the garbage man comes and someone who is not necessarily confident in her everyday life. She’s normal and not anything particularly special, but then she finds that she’s being drawn to her homeland. There’s an air of whimsy about the book. It’s not necessarily all about the plot. A lot of the writing is about the scenarios and thoughts that we experience while reading. We’re drawn into new situations with each new chapter where we explore all sorts of things that might be new to the reader. The plot itself is fairly set in reality, though with the help of a little bit of mysticism, it’s sort of blessed with a bit of magic as well. A lot of people in real life have natural grace with animals, and that’s sort of what Khari’s relationship with the insects is like. It’s almost as if it could be a factual story and the author does not over do the fantastical aspects.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with this book. The characters all have very unique qualities and I can see why each has chosen their own path in the story, understanding their actions. The plot and settings all have some sort of interesting elements that keep me intrigued right through the book. It’s a great story and is quite an inspiring tale of an ordinary girl who rises to recover her tribal land. It is well worth five stars.

Thinking back on it, I still eagerly await a potential sequel; I still would like to read more into Khari’s life and the recovery of her lost tribe. I think the thing that I remember most fondly about the book is the author’s way with words. It was a pleasure to read a book so well-written.

I was lucky enough to receive a free eCopy of this book in return for an honest review.


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