The Amulet Series: Book 1
Publication Date: February 23, 2023
Bridget’s Senior Year Checklist includes:
1. Hook the new guy, Trip
2. Hang with newly discovered cousin, Cay aka the most popular boy at OCHS
3. Find missing weather controlling Amulet
4. Pass SATs
5. Save the world
In her quiet Jersey Shore town, high school senior Bridget MacNamara just wants to get a date with the strikingly attractive new kid, Trip, but fate and her lineage have other ideas. Things get weird when the most popular guy in school, Cailean “Cay” McKay, won’t leave her alone. Turns out they’re distant cousins and what’s more-they’re the descendants of twin Scottish goddesses, Brighde and Beira.
The sisters originally shared an amulet that controlled the weather, and its sudden disappearance has sparked betrayal and vengeance, dividing the once-close family into two rival factions for the last few centuries. Bridget finds herself thrown into a modern version of Scottish mythology when she learns she’s directly descended from Brighde, and Trip can be traced straight to Beira.
After a century of family warfare, Trip and Bridget are now a star-crossed couple, forced to fight both their families and each other in a race to find the missing amulet.
Wasn’t senior year supposed to be a breeze?
Janice and Leslie Sommers are a mother-daughter writing duo. Brighde Reborn is their first in the Amulet Series, with the next in the series, Brighde Redefined, being released soon. This YA novel depicts ordinary high school dramatics, except for an impending surprise for the main character, Bridget. Bridget has been kept in the dark about her destiny to uphold her end of a family legacy, which will require her to find and protect an amulet that controls the weather.
The novel opens with a wonderful prologue, beginning with, “Most fairy tales began with the words ‘once upon a time’…my story wasn’t like any of these.” How clever! I began waiting for the twist of a Scottish fairy tale. Bridget is a senior in high school with a devoted group of friends and a new set of neighbors, including the eye-catching Trip Findlay.
Trip easily meshes into Bridget’s group of friends, and the attraction between the two quickly unfolds. Their interest in each other naturally creates all sorts of feelings: excitement, hopefulness, embarrassment, and disappointment. First love generally elevates these feelings in intensity. Brighde Reborn’s metaphoric events bring these feelings to the forefront when sudden changes in the weather seem to materialize as Bridget’s emotions fluctuate while navigating this new relationship. Is this weird weather because of El Niño or something more perplexing?
Bridget thinks her senior year is exciting enough with friends, special events on the horizon, and a new boyfriend, but then the most popular boy in school has a sudden interest in her. She cautiously gets to know Cay as more than the school heartthrob, especially when he explains he is a distant relative and he may have some intriguing information about how she is tied to these weather events.
Once it is revealed that Bridget is a special descendant of Brighde, twin of Beira, and that she was born and destined to be a “seeker” of an amulet that once belonged to Brighde, high school is anything but ordinary. But to Bridget’s dismay, Cay reveals that Trip is a descendant of Beira and will be in competition for seeking the amulet and controlling the weather!
Brighde Reborn primarily gets readers entrenched in the development of the characters and imagining the surprise of discovering magical powers. The novel prepares the reader to follow Bridget past high school, following this unique life path. In reading the notes for the follow-up book, I feel the second book will meet expectations more of how a fantasy reads. Parents who may be choosing a fantasy series as a gift will appreciate how chaste the love story is written. Therefore, it may appeal to younger tweens as well as older YA readers.
As ordinary young readers curl up with Brighde Reborn, they will identify with the high school setting. Yet, before long, they may allow themselves to imagine sharing the same unforeseen possession of magical powers as happens to the lead character.
Janice holds a B.S. in Education from Seton Hall University. Her passion for books was passed on to the next generation of her family. Leslie holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Fiction Writing from Montclair State University. Like Bridget, Leslie was born and raised in New Jersey and inherited her love of reading from her mother. Both Leslie and Janice currently live in New Jersey with their two cats, in a busy little town, and they couldn’t think of a more perfect setting for their heroine. Brighde Reborn is their first young adult novel.
Leslie holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Fiction Writing from Montclair State University. Like Bridget, Leslie was born and raised in New Jersey and inherited her love of reading from her mother. Janice holds a B.S. in Education from Seton Hall University. Her passion for books was passed on to the next generation of her family. Both Leslie and Janice currently live in New Jersey with their two cats, in a busy little town, and they couldn’t think of a more perfect setting for their heroine. Brighde Reborn is their first young adult novel.