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At 16, Madison has accepted herself for who she is: smart and witty, but overweight with thick glasses and the social life of a Tibetan monk. Everything changes the summer before her junior year of high school when her eyesight inexplicably corrects itself, and she begins to rapidly lose weight. However, her new look comes with an unexpectedly expensive price. Madison’s first kiss with the boy she has had a crush on for years triggers powers she can’t control, almost killing him.
She discovers she is a Berserker, a powerful being chosen to guard the world from the Havocs, ancient creatures brought into our world by magic thousands of years ago. They cause destruction and death, but cannot be killed. Only the Berserkers’ life-blood can bind – and free – the Havocs. One Havoc is free and wants Madison’s blood to free another. Instead of enjoying her new look and popularity at school, Madison must now work with the Berserkers to master her powers and bind the Havoc before it kills her.
Oh, and if that weren’t bad enough, it turns out she is the first female Berserker since, well - ever.
As excellent as that blurb is, it can't come close to explaining the intricacies and surprises within the book's pages. I was reminded of the Twilight series, but in my humble opinion, this was better. Much better. I really liked the main character, Madison, who I think is an excellent role model for young teen girls...nothing weak and wimpy about this girl! She gets scared, but she holds it together and can kick major monster butt AND keep her grades up at school. (As enamored as Madison is with a guy, I can't imagine her thinking it was romantic to have him come and sit in her room and watch her sleep! Did that part of Twilight make anyone else's skin crawl?) Wonderfully described monsters, a smart, plucky girl with two, sometimes three admirers (it varies with whether or not Josh has been hazed yet, to forget Madison tossing him into a tree when his kiss brings out her unrealized and unleashed powers). What's not to love?