Projection - Risa Green You can also read this review on Flying Kick-a-pow! ReviewsRelease date: September 3rdThank you Edelweiss and SoHo Teen for providing me with an ARC of this book!--------------Summary:Everything is going perfectly in 13-year-old Gretchen Harris's life; she's popular, she's wealthy, and has a loyal best friend. But when Gretchen's mother is murdered at her middle-school graduation party, everything unravels. Suddenly, Gretchen has suspicions about everyone she knows––particularly about Ariel, the outcast of her class.Then she and her best friend, Jessica, also begin to uncover secrets about the Oculus Society––their town's version of the Junior League, of which Gretchen's mother was a leading member. And when it turns out the members of the Oculus Society have the ability to trade souls, Gretchen and Jessica come up with a plot to use this ability to find the murderer. The only problem is, Ariel has stumbled upon their secret … and although they don't trust her, she may be the the key to catching the killer.My thoughts:I honestly don't remember much about this book at all. It's one of those books that I keep seeing on my "to-review" list and I think something like, "Oh, yeah. I guess I read that. Um, what was that about again?" After reading the Goodreads summary it's starting to come back to me––but still, it wasn't very memorable.I think the concept had a lot going for it. It was original, it was tying in a lot of awesome ideas––astral projection, trading souls, Greek mythology, etc. But––in my opinion––the plot itself ended up being rather confusing and illogical, the pacing was strange, and the characters fell flat.What I liked:- If anything, I thought this book was pretty unique. I mean, I don't think I've ever read a book about a society of women that trade souls by kissing each other. (Did I mention the kissing part? Well, yeah. That was a thing.) - As I said, the premise intrigued me. I liked the idea of taking some kind of fantasy plot and combining it with murder/mystery, and including some mythology in there. It was a cool idea.What didn't work for me:- I didn't sympathize with Gretchen. In fact, from the very beginning, I sort of … hated her, to be honest. She's just so horrible to Ariel. In the beginning, she talks about how she can never be friends with Ariel because she's "too weird" and because her mom is a lunch lady. Errm, okay.And then when Gretchen's mother is murdered, she immediately suspects Ariel for basically no reason at all––except that Ariel was at the party, and that Gretchen hates her guts for being … "weird." Not only does she suspect Ariel, but she takes every opportunity to openly accuse Ariel of the crime. She even goes so far as to send Ariel numerous harassing text messages saying things along the lines of "I know you killed my mom" etc. and then she acts all offended when Ariel threatens to call the police on her. I guess she gets a bit less bitchy as the book goes on, but even so … I had trouble sympathizing with her actions.- In fact, I didn't really sympathize with any of the characters at all. None of them really stood out to me or had very distinct personalities. I kept getting the three main characters (Gretchen, Jessica, and Ariel) confused because they all basically talked/acted the same way. On top of that, they were constantly switching souls with each other and that made it all the more difficult to keep track of who was who.- The pacing got really strange somewhere 75% of the way through the book or so. For some reason, a lot of time is skipped over, and then suddenly Ariel and Jessica are best friends and Ariel is super popular … and it's just completely out of nowhere. Up until that point I thought the book was going all right, but it pretty much lost me by then.- The plot didn't make much sense to me. A lot of it just consisted of the three girls swapping souls and walking around in each other's bodies. Supposedly they were doing this so they could more easily get information about the murder … but if they were all pretending to be each other … why did it even make a difference? Couldn't they have just looked for information as themselves? Not to mention, "looking for information" seemed to mostly involve living their everyday, uneventful lives and not actually gathering many clues at all. So … I didn't get it.The final word:The concept of Projection was interesting, but in the end the execution was too flawed for me to enjoy it much. I think the idea and characters could have been fleshed out a lot more, and unfortunately I found it forgettable. ~ Flying Kick-a-pow! Reviews ~