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Whisper : Riley Bloom Series : Book 4 - Alyson Noel

Whisper

Riley Bloom Series : Book 4

Paperback Published: 24th April 2012
ISBN: 9780312641566
Number Of Pages: 215
For Ages: 9 - 12 years old

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This time, Riley might really have bitten off more than she’s ready for.

After practically begging the Council for a more challenging Soul Catch, she is assigned an actual Roman gladiator Theocoles, the Pillar of Doom. How is Riley, a skinny twelve-year-old, supposed to get through to him? Then she meets the beautiful Messalina, who convinces her that her only chance is to become part of this world.

To accomplish this, Messalina helps Riley through a dramatic, mystical makeover, transforming her into the beautiful and mature teen she’s always wanted to be. Finally, Riley can experience her first boyfriend and her first kiss. With a dream this enchanting, will she ever want to leave?

About the Author

Alyson Noël is the author of Radiance, Shimmer, the Immortals series, and seven previous novels for St. Martin’s Press. She lives in Orange County, California.

Industry Reviews

"Riley, who appeared in ghost form to her older sister, Ever, in Noel's bestselling "Evermore," takes center stage in this middle-grade spinoff, first in a planned series. . . . her wit, attitude, and maturation should have readers gladly following her into the second installment."--"Publishers Weekly" "I must admit there is not one thing I don't like about this book. I just listed it all the pros and there are no cons. I would rate it FIVE STARS if I was a critic. And I guess I am. Now I have something to look forward to, the second book coming out in Spring 2011."--Hadley, at AllyKatzz.com "I like Riley. . . . She's faced with challenges and loves to meet them head-on. I'm very pleased with this book. . . . Riley's story is touching, moving, and uplifting."--"Biliophilic Book Blog" "Narrating in a contemporary voice with an honest and comfortable cadence, Riley is imperfect, but always likable as she sweeps readers to her faraway land where she makes herself and readers assess their behaviors and, quite possibly, make adjustments. In the midst of this wildly fanciful setting, Noel is able to capture with nail-on-the-head accuracy common worries and concerns of today's tweens."--"School Library Journal" "A tale for lovers of the genre . . . For those preteens who like a mild supernatural adventure with romantic overtones, you go, ghost."--"Kirkus Reviews" "Riley is such a great, refreshing character and I loved her voice. She has some great inner monologues that made me laugh out loud. . . . I really enjoyed Radiance. . . . I'd definitely recommend YA fans of Alyson Noel to pick it up. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next with Riley and Bodhi."--"Mundie Moms" "Alyson did a great job writing Radiance. It was what I expected and more. . . . She was able to catch that young voice and portray it beautifully. . . . "Radiance" is a great summer read. I give it 5 BITES!"--"Books With Bite" "Another highly creative and well thought out series for Alyson Noel! . . . Noel creates another imaginative world that is so well described it sucked me in from the very beginning. She has a very poetic style of writing that will appeal to any age. . . . I highly recommend."--"Bellas Novella" ""Radiance" is a sweet story, a perfect summer read. . . . Like the Immortals series, Noel's world building is superb. Radiance was the perfect book to tide me over until the next Immortals book comes out. As far as middle-grade books go, it's one of the best I've read."--"I'd So Rather Be Reading" "I think I found a great new series with tons of potential, and that series starts with "Radiance." . . . This book is so cute!"--"Bloody Bookaholic" "I loved reading this book! . . . Its beauty and simplicity blend perfectly with romance and humor. I'm sad that I must wait until next year for "Shimmer," the sequel. I will definitely miss Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup! Also the cover is just beautiful!"--"Novel Thoughts" "The author has a way of making the world she has created come off the pages and into your mind! A book that will keep you captivated from page one until Riley's flight of Radiance at the end!"--"My Overstuffed Bookshelf" "Riley, who appeared in ghost form to her older sister, Ever, in Noel's bestselling Evermore, takes center stage in this middle-grade spinoff, first in a planned series. . . . her wit, attitude, and maturation should have readers gladly following her into the second installment." --Publishers Weekly"I must admit there is not one thing I don't like about this book. I just listed it all the pros and there are no cons. I would rate it FIVE STARS if I was a critic. And I guess I am. Now I have something to look forward to, the second book coming out in Spring 2011." --Hadley, at AllyKatzz.com"I like Riley. . . . She's faced with challenges and loves to meet them head-on. I'm very pleased with this book. . . . Riley's story is touching, moving, and uplifting." --Biliophilic Book Blog"Narrating in a contemporary voice with an honest and comfortable cadence, Riley is imperfect, but always likable as she sweeps readers to her faraway land where she makes herself and readers assess their behaviors and, quite possibly, make adjustments. In the midst of this wildly fanciful setting, Noel is able to capture with nail-on-the-head accuracy common worries and concerns of today's tweens." --School Library Journal"A tale for lovers of the genre . . . For those preteens who like a mild supernatural adventure with romantic overtones, you go, ghost." --Kirkus Reviews"Riley is such a great, refreshing character and I loved her voice. She has some great inner monologues that made me laugh out loud. . . . I really enjoyed Radiance. . . . I'd definitely recommend YA fans of Alyson Noel to pick it up. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next with Riley and Bodhi." --Mundie Moms"Alyson did a great job writing Radiance. It was what I expected and more. . . . She was able to catch that young voice and portray it beautifully. . . . Radiance is a great summer read. I give it 5 BITES!" --Books With Bite"Another highly creative and well thought out series for Alyson Noel! . . . Noel creates another imaginative world that is so well described it sucked me in from the very beginning. She has a very poetic style of writing that will appeal to any age. . . . I highly recommend." --Bellas Novella"Radiance is a sweet story, a perfect summer read. . . . Like the Immortals series, Noel's world building is superb. Radiance was the perfect book to tide me over until the next Immortals book comes out. As far as middle-grade books go, it's one of the best I've read." --I'd So Rather Be Reading"I think I found a great new series with tons of potential, and that series starts with Radiance. . . . This book is so cute!" --Bloody Bookaholic"I loved reading this book! . . . Its beauty and simplicity blend perfectly with romance and humor. I'm sad that I must wait until next year for Shimmer, the sequel. I will definitely miss Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup! Also the cover is just beautiful!" --Novel Thoughts"The author has a way of making the world she has created come off the pages and into your mind! A book that will keep you captivated from page one until Riley's flight of Radiance at the end!" --My Overstuffed Bookshelf Riley, who appeared in ghost form to her older sister, Ever, in Noel's bestselling Evermore, takes center stage in this middle-grade spinoff, first in a planned series. . . . her wit, attitude, and maturation should have readers gladly following her into the second installment. Publishers Weekly I must admit there is not one thing I don't like about this book. I just listed it all the pros and there are no cons. I would rate it FIVE STARS if I was a critic. And I guess I am. Now I have something to look forward to, the second book coming out in Spring 2011. Hadley, at AllyKatzz.com I like Riley. . . . She's faced with challenges and loves to meet them head-on. I'm very pleased with this book. . . . Riley's story is touching, moving, and uplifting. Biliophilic Book Blog Narrating in a contemporary voice with an honest and comfortable cadence, Riley is imperfect, but always likable as she sweeps readers to her faraway land where she makes herself and readers assess their behaviors and, quite possibly, make adjustments. In the midst of this wildly fanciful setting, Noel is able to capture with nail-on-the-head accuracy common worries and concerns of today's tweens. School Library Journal A tale for lovers of the genre . . . For those preteens who like a mild supernatural adventure with romantic overtones, you go, ghost. Kirkus Reviews Riley is such a great, refreshing character and I loved her voice. She has some great inner monologues that made me laugh out loud. . . . I really enjoyed Radiance. . . . I'd definitely recommend YA fans of Alyson Noel to pick it up. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next with Riley and Bodhi. Mundie Moms Alyson did a great job writing Radiance. It was what I expected and more. . . . She was able to catch that young voice and portray it beautifully. . . . Radiance is a great summer read. I give it 5 BITES! Books With Bite Another highly creative and well thought out series for Alyson Noel! . . . Noel creates another imaginative world that is so well described it sucked me in from the very beginning. She has a very poetic style of writing that will appeal to any age. . . . I highly recommend. Bellas Novella Radiance is a sweet story, a perfect summer read. . . . Like the Immortals series, Noel's world building is superb. Radiance was the perfect book to tide me over until the next Immortals book comes out. As far as middle-grade books go, it's one of the best I've read. I'd So Rather Be Reading I think I found a great new series with tons of potential, and that series starts with Radiance. . . . This book is so cute! Bloody Bookaholic I loved reading this book! . . . Its beauty and simplicity blend perfectly with romance and humor. I'm sad that I must wait until next year for Shimmer, the sequel. I will definitely miss Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup! Also the cover is just beautiful! Novel Thoughts The author has a way of making the world she has created come off the pages and into your mind! A book that will keep you captivated from page one until Riley's flight of Radiance at the end! My Overstuffed Bookshelf" Riley, who appeared in ghost form to her older sister, Ever, in Noel's bestselling "Evermore," takes center stage in this middle-grade spinoff, first in a planned series. . . . her wit, attitude, and maturation should have readers gladly following her into the second installment. "Publishers Weekly" I must admit there is not one thing I don't like about this book. I just listed it all the pros and there are no cons. I would rate it FIVE STARS if I was a critic. And I guess I am. Now I have something to look forward to, the second book coming out in Spring 2011. "Hadley, at AllyKatzz.com" I like Riley. . . . She's faced with challenges and loves to meet them head-on. I'm very pleased with this book. . . . Riley's story is touching, moving, and uplifting. "Biliophilic Book Blog" Narrating in a contemporary voice with an honest and comfortable cadence, Riley is imperfect, but always likable as she sweeps readers to her faraway land where she makes herself and readers assess their behaviors and, quite possibly, make adjustments. In the midst of this wildly fanciful setting, Noel is able to capture with nail-on-the-head accuracy common worries and concerns of today's tweens. "School Library Journal" A tale for lovers of the genre . . . For those preteens who like a mild supernatural adventure with romantic overtones, you go, ghost. "Kirkus Reviews" Riley is such a great, refreshing character and I loved her voice. She has some great inner monologues that made me laugh out loud. . . . I really enjoyed Radiance. . . . I'd definitely recommend YA fans of Alyson Noel to pick it up. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next with Riley and Bodhi. "Mundie Moms" Alyson did a great job writing Radiance. It was what I expected and more. . . . She was able to catch that young voice and portray it beautifully. . . . "Radiance" is a great summer read. I give it 5 BITES! "Books With Bite" Another highly creative and well thought out series for Alyson Noel! . . . Noel creates another imaginative world that is so well described it sucked me in from the very beginning. She has a very poetic style of writing that will appeal to any age. . . . I highly recommend. "Bellas Novella" "Radiance" is a sweet story, a perfect summer read. . . . Like the Immortals series, Noel's world building is superb. Radiance was the perfect book to tide me over until the next Immortals book comes out. As far as middle-grade books go, it's one of the best I've read. "I'd So Rather Be Reading" I think I found a great new series with tons of potential, and that series starts with "Radiance." . . . This book is so cute! "Bloody Bookaholic" I loved reading this book! . . . Its beauty and simplicity blend perfectly with romance and humor. I'm sad that I must wait until next year for "Shimmer," the sequel. I will definitely miss Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup! Also the cover is just beautiful! "Novel Thoughts" The author has a way of making the world she has created come off the pages and into your mind! A book that will keep you captivated from page one until Riley's flight of Radiance at the end! "My Overstuffed Bookshelf""

1

Most people think that death is the end.

The end of life—of good times—the end of, well, pretty much everything.

But those people are wrong.

Dead wrong.

And I should know. I died almost a year ago.

2

The weirdest part about dying is that nothing really changed.

I mean, you’d expect a big change, right? Because dying—well, let’s face it, it’s pretty dramatic stuff. They write songs about it, books and screenplays too. Heck, it’s even a major theme on Saturday morning cartoons. But the thing is, it’s nothing like you see on TV.

Nothing at all.

Take me for instance. I’m living, er, make that dead proof that it really isn’t so different. Or at least not at first. And at least not in a bad way like you probably think.

Because the truth is, the moment I died I actually felt more alive than ever. I could jump higher—run faster—I could even walk through walls if I wanted. And that’s pretty much what gave it away.

The walking-through-walls part.

Since it’s not like I could do that sort of thing before, so that’s how I knew something was up.

Something serious.

But up until then, it all just seemed like a really cool side trip. Like my dad just decided to take a sudden turn none of us were expecting.

One moment he was cruising down a curving highway, while I was singing along to my iPod with my dog Buttercup resting his head on my lap, doing my best to tune out my bossy older sister Ever who practically lived to torment me. And the next thing I knew, we were somewhere else entirely.

No longer on the highway, no longer in Oregon, we’d somehow landed smack dab in the middle of this beautiful shimmering field full of pulsating trees and flowers that shivered. And when my parents went one way and my sister went another, I just stood there, head swiveling like crazy, unsure who to follow.

Part of me urging, “Cross the bridge with Mom and Dad and Buttercup—they know what’s best!”

While the other part insisted, “Don’t be such a goody-good—if Ever sees something awesome and you miss out, you’ll regret it forever!”

And by the time I finally decided to go after my sister, I’d taken so long she was already gone.

Just—disappeared.

Straight into the shimmering mist.

Right back to the earth plane.

And that’s how I ended up stuck. Stuck between worlds.

Until I found my way Here.

That’s what they call it, “Here.”

And if you’re dumb enough to ask what time it is, they’ll say, “Now.”

Probably because there’s no time Here, which means everything happens, well, in the moment it happens, which is always just—Now.

So, I guess you could say I live in the Here & Now.

Which, strangely, isn’t so different from where I lived before back in Eugene, Oregon.

Aside from there being no time. And of course, that bit about being able to walk through walls and stuff.

But other than that, and the fact that I can manifest anything I want—stuff like houses and cars and clothes, even animals and beaches, simply by imagining it—it’s all pretty much the same.

My parents are Here. My grandparents too. Even my sweet yellow Lab Buttercup made it. And even though we can live anywhere we could ever conceivably want, in any kind of house we could ever truly desire, the funny thing is that my new neighborhood is pretty much an exact replica of my old neighborhood back in Oregon.

Everything identical, all the way down to the clothes that hang in my closet, the socks that are stuffed in my drawers, and the posters that are taped to my walls. The only thing that’s different, the only thing that kind of bugs me, is all the other houses around us are empty. Mostly due to the fact that all my old neighbors and friends are alive and well and back in the earth plane (well, for now anyway!). But still, other than that, it’s exactly like I remember it.

Exactly like I wished it.

I just wish I had some friends to enjoy it with.

3

When I woke up this morning—oh, that’s another thing—you probably thought I didn’t need to sleep, right? Well, at first, that’s what I thought too. But as my parents explained it to me, we are, in a sense, more alive than ever, made up of energy in its purest form. And after a long day of creating and manifesting and, well, what ever else people choose to do Here, the energy requires a little downtime, a little shut-eye, in order to rest, recuperate, and regenerate—which, again, is no different from life on the earth plane.

So anyway, when I woke up this morning with Buttercup wagging his tail and licking my face, despite the fact that it’s a pretty nice way to wake, that didn’t stop me from pushing him away, pulling the blanket over my head, and rolling over so that my back was facing him. My eyelids squinched together as tightly as they would go, and I tried to find my way back to my dream as Buttercup continued to whimper and whine and paw at me.

And just as I was about to push him away yet again, that’s when I remembered:

Buttercup was excited for me.

Everyone was excited for me.

From the moment I got Here, I’d pretty much kept myself busy with getting adjusted to my new life, getting reacquainted with my family, and basically trying to learn how things are done in this place. And now that I was settled, it was time for my first day of school (yes, we have school Here—it’s not all cloud lounging and harp playing, you know), and since everyone was acting so excited about it, it became my job to act excited too.

Excited enough to get out of bed, get myself ready, and take the time to manifest something cool to wear, so I could, well, according to my parents anyway, head off to a place where I’d:

“Meet some new friends, learn some new things, and in no time at all find myself picking up right smack where I left off back home!”

And no matter how much I doubted that, no matter how much I was willing to bet just about anything that there was no way that would turn out to be even remotely true, I just smiled and went along with it. Wanting them to think I was as eager for the moment as they clearly were.

Not wanting them to know just how much I missed my old life back home. Missed it so much it was like a constant ache in my middle. And how I was pretty dang sure that this school, no matter how cool they claimed it to be, could never compete with the one I’d left behind.

So after enjoying a little breakfast with my mom and dad (and no, we don’t really need to eat anymore, but would you give up the taste of Lucky Charms if you didn’t have to?), I set off. At first dressed in a typical private-school uniform of white blouse, plaid skirt, blue blazer, white socks, and cool shoes, since I always wanted to go to a school that required that, but then halfway there I changed my mind and swapped it for some skinny jeans, ballet flats, and a soft, fuzzy blue cardigan I wore over a white tank top featuring the logo of my favorite band.

Seriously, manifesting is really that easy—or at least it is Here. You just think of anything you want, anything at all, picture it really clearly in your head—et voilà—just like that, it’s yours!

So anyway, I kept going like that, switching back and forth, forth and back, between the two looks. Taking two steps forward as a private-school girl, and another two dressed as an extremely stylish twelve-year-old girl. Figuring I’d stick with what ever ensemble I was wearing by the time I reached campus, knowing I could always change it in an instant if it turned out to be the wrong choice.

But then, somewhere along the way, I saw it.

The Viewing Room.

The place my parents had warned me about.

Insisting it would lead to no good. That I would only become obsessed yet again just when I needed to focus my energies on moving on, settling in, and accepting the fact that, like it or not, I am now an official resident of the Here & Now. Claiming it was high time I turn my back on my old life and concentrate on embracing my afterlife.

“You lingered on the earth plane long enough,” my dad said, giving me his usual compassionate yet concerned look.

While my mom looked on, eyes narrowed, arms crossed, not fooled by my claims of mere mild curiosity for a second. “Your sister has her own lessons to learn, her own destiny to fulfill, and it’s not your place to interfere,” she’d said, refusing to budge or even try to see my side of things.

But even though their intentions were good, the thing is, they didn’t know my sister nearly as well as I did. Didn’t realize she needed me in a way they could never even begin to comprehend. Besides, if it’s true that there’s no time, then it’s not like I could be late for school, right? So really, what’s the worst that could happen?

With my mind fully made up, I took a little detour and ducked inside, snatching a ticket from the dispenser on the wall before taking my place in a very long line. Surrounded by a whole gang of gray hairs gushing on and on about the grandkids they couldn’t wait to look in on, until my number finally flashed on the overhead screen and I marched straight into the recently vacated cubicle, closed the curtain behind me, settled onto the hard, metal stool, and punched in my desired location, carefully scanning the screen until I found her.

Excerpted from Radiance by Alyson Noël.

Copyright © 2010 by Alyson Noël.

ISBN: 9780312641566
ISBN-10: 0312641567
Series: Radiance (Quality)
Audience: Children
For Ages: 9 - 12 years old
For Grades: 4 - 6
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 215
Published: 24th April 2012
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 14.1  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.21

Earn 36 Qantas Points
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