Sixteen-year-old Cee has a hopeless crush on her best friend Marcus. Unfortunately for her, he’s gay. In the wake of Marcus’s older brother leaving home to join the Aerie, Marcus has become increasingly distant. When Cee discovers she has a troublesome dragon named Livian living inside her things grow even more complicated.
Marcus urges Cee to go to the Magi to have Livian removed, but the more Cee becomes attached to Livian, the more she questions the decision. Should she change her natural self for the crush who will never love her anyway?
14+ due to adult situations
Heat spread through her. Cee’s face elongated, her arms extended, her nails formed into claws, and her feet became suddenly very heavy. The bony spires erupted from her shoulders, and Cee was compelled to double over to allow the wings to grow.
Throughout, Cee fought the urge to resist, though her instinct was to do just that. She wondered what she looked like, caught a glimpse of red scales, and realized her eyesight had become sharper. All the details of the trees around her impressed themselves upon her brain: the cracks and flakes in the bark, the saw-tooth edges of the leaves, and every little spot and insect thereupon.
How big was she? Cee realized she was at eye level with the middle of the trees. She looked down and saw her friends pushing themselves even harder against the trunks, making way for Cee’s—or Livian’s, she supposed—tail as it snaked by.
Yes, we’re very pretty, said Livian impatiently. But we don’t have time for showing off just now.
The massive wings began to move, slowly at first, gathering speed that put the force of the helicopter’s artificial wind to shame. Cee realized she had no control over what was happening. It was all Livian, and she was housed inside him, somehow, along for the ride.
It was equal parts thrilling and petrifying, bursting through the treetops and being free of gravity. Cee would have liked to spend more time experiencing it, but there was the helicopter, like a massive black bug, and Livian went right for it.
Posted by Anniek Snowroses on 9th Dec 2016
Cee only knows the small town she grew up in. Everyone belongs to a clan outside of this town, but they stay with their foster parents until their transformation. During this Relinquishing they'll morph into the animal of their clan and then they will live with their people, leaving their friends and the only life they've ever known behind. Their change is supposed to happen somewhere around their 18th birthday. Some clans are more feared than others and some are even extinct. If they don't change they'll stay in the village and will be getting a job and/or become a foster parent.
Cee has a secret crush on her best friend Marcus. Marcus is gay, so the chance of him loving her back on a romantic level is not in the cards. Cee is dreading the day that she and Marcus will change because the chances of them belonging to the same clan are minimal. This means that they'll probably never see each other again. When Marcus has a school assignment with a boy named Rand, Cee and Rand's best friend Guin also join their newfound friendship. All of them discover that they have unique and exceptional gifts. The Draconas are claimed to be extinct, but when Cee finds out that she's sharing her body with a dragon named Livian she has to make a decision about what to do. Being the only one means that Cee doesn't have a clan to fall back on, so she and her friends go on a journey to the Magi to see if Livian can be removed from her body.
During their journey Cee starts to question herself. She grows attached to Livian, even if he's not always the nicest dragon. I felt sorry for Cee to be in love with someone who will never return her feelings. Living in a small town kept her a bit naïve and it was fascinating to read about the way she deals with her struggles and how she's growing as a person. Cee is kind and honest towards her friends, but she's also confident and sure of what she's feeling. She is open minded towards Livian and towards what is happening in her body. The internal dialogue Cee has with Livian was fascinating to read. I found myself wishing for her to find a solution that would work for both her and Livian.
Manifesting Destiny is a fantastic story about a new and interesting world. I loved the idea of a young girl who has a dragon living inside of her. The fact that she is the only one made the story even more exciting. I liked the interactions between the teens very much. While they are changing and are belonging to different clans they are still determined to keep their friendship intact. They are all struggling with their own issues and the vivid writing about them makes them believable characters. I had no troubles at all to connect to their personalities and the story itself. M. Pepper Langlinais writes about a world that grabbed my attention straight away and she manages to keep the story interesting and intriguing until the very end.
Posted by TDC Book Reviews on 9th Dec 2016
An intriguing story idea. The world created by Langlinais has people who can morph into their inner animal.
Unfortunately for Cee, inside her lives a Dragon. On her journey - with her best friend, and some others along the way - she must deal with the inner struggle of whether or not to give into the dragon and accept her destiny or not.
This book couldn't hold my attention but I pushed through nonetheless. I did find the premise very cool. The writing is well done, the characters are decently developed and the inner struggle Cee deals with is all to real (hello metaphors). Overall, if you like fantasy and self-acceptance stories, give it a shot.
Posted by Christine Rains on 9th Dec 2016
I'm not usually a YA reader but read an excerpt of it and knew it would be a good read. I found myself caught up in the characters and how they are experiencing growing up, maturing into their true selves while trying to find their place in a society they don't really understand. This may be classified as a fantasy but in many ways, it is very true to the adolescent time we all experience. I loved the dragon and his relationship to Cee. It was a great read and I am looking forward to the second book as this one just whetted my appetite to know more about this world Cee and Marcus live in. Sunny L.
Posted by Kimberly E on 8th Aug 2016
Great read! Langlinais' book takes us on a journey about growing up that is both very different and yet somehow familiar. In the fantasy series, teenagers discover what clan they truly belong to when their outsides change to match their true natures. It's a personality test like you've never seen before, but underneath it all, they have fears about leaving behind everything that they know, just like we all do. Great for teens and adults too.