By M. Lewis-Lerman.
Livi is a pretty ordinary girl living a pretty ordinary life. She has siblings and friends and parents-- though they aren't biologically hers, her own parents were killed-- and she kinda longs for adventure, as we all do when we're teenagers. But Livi is soon charged with a task to save her best friend, which includes a suicidal journey to find a magical plant that will set everything back into the order in which it was intended. She meets and makes new friends, is constantly harassed by a group of would-be assassins and kidnappers, and encounters brand new parts of herself that she could never have imagined would exist.
Firstly, I just want to say that I'm a big fan of these sorts of fantasy novels. Beware the Sheep reminds me hugely of a Harry Potter-esque adventure, full of magic and strife and a rich, imaginative world that boasts of just how much time M. Lewis-Lerman has put into her work. There's something really cool about being completely immersed in an entire alternate universe that's complete with towns and villages and items, as well as all new, creative, unheard-of creatures that take an enormous amount of effort to create. I can't brag enough about how satisfying it is to get lost in something so abundant.
Beware the Sheep is chock full of action and intrigue too-- the action sequences are intriguing and captivating, and really put you on the edge of your seat for the characters you're growing to love. I'm always worried when I read action, particularly in YA, because I'm afraid of the fights and their consequences being sugar-coated. But when Livi and her friends get into tricky situations, you're genuinely concerned for them, and that's one of the biggest compliments I can give in regards to these sequences.
I think the only complaint I have is that there were numerous spelling/grammatical errors throughout the book. I'm the kind of reader who is distracted from my train of thought and from the otherwise smooth advancement of scene and plot by those sorts of things, so it detracted a little from my experience. But that being said, the narrative kept me interested regardless, and the characters made me want to learn more about them and their motives, so after each initial jarring out of my focus, it wasn't too tough to get back into it.
Overall I found that Beware the Sheep was a really great introduction to a fascinating world full of action and intrigue. It'll be interesting to see where Livi's questions and curiosities and loves lead her, and because of how much I enjoyed the book, I'm eager to follow her throughout all of them. I'd recommend this book to readers who like a little magic and a little fantasy, and a whole lot of adventure.
Review by Amanda Scott