On goodreads.com, a man joined my group in hopes of adding his African American paranormal novel to our list there. Of course it had to happen! After we got to talking, he was so gracious enough to gift me the Kindle version of his novel, Imagining Things.
SPOILERS!!! (highlight to read)
Let's get down to it. In the very beginning we meet Whisper Wells, her brother Christian, a friend named Oliver (Katherine) Sede and her brother Marcus. But just as we get down to something, we flashback an entire generation to meet Sephra, Whisper and Christian's mother, and we are taken on a journey through her life leading up to her death. Right after that, we're transported to visit the lives of Oliver and Marcus (more Marcus than Oliver).
Sephra is a black artist who goes to school and meets Duvall, a white boy with money who basically ends up helping her become the successful woman she grew to be. Despite his love for her, her married a white woman while Sephra jumped at the chance to marry a man named Chas-Drew, who was splitting from his girlfriend ... That was the first red flag for me (as far as Sephra's life goes). Years down the line, we see her two children who are named Whisper and Christian. They are 4 years apart but born on the same day so they share birthdays.
Chas-Drew decides he wants to divorce Sephra and get back with the woman he'd separated from when he met Sephra. But as soon as he announces this divorce, Sephra is diagnosed with a life threatening disease. When the children find out all of this, Christian shuts himself off from his father which was justified in my opinion.
Just a time jump away, we now get to find out about Marcus and Oliver. Apparently they are a family with money whos father owns a company. Aside from Oliver seeming quite normal, Marcus loathes his father and there is no clear reason why. Continuing on, we find that Marcus is gay and very good looking. Unfortunately, his good looks got him attacked and raped, which led him to being a high class prostitute at the age of 14? 15? 16? I'm not clear on the age he began because the time would change in a blink without warning. He continues with the prostitution until he's saved enough money to move out of his fathers house.
There's so much that happens after that, before that and during that that I can't possible tell you everything so I'll cut to my comments ...
1) The time transitions are super confusing. Theirs actually nothing that tells us how much time has gone by until we're deep into another part of the story and then you go 'what the hell? months?' or 'what in the world? how many years did I just read through?' We're sitting with Whisper, then we're learning about Sephra, then we're dealing with Marcus as a young boy, then we're back to present day. It made it super hard to keep up with, plus everyone has an odd name so I kept getting people mixed up. 2) I'm not really sure what anyone looked like. Someone has light eyes, someone is white, someone is a rich brown ... I'm just not sure. Their are no full descriptions of anyone given and that's another reason why I got everyone mixed up because I didn't know what they 'looked like.' 3) The paranormal aspect came in the form of a very vague sense of telepathy. What they do is basically answer a question before it's asked or say 'you were wondering ...' or 'you were about to ask ...' and they go on and complete it. Whisper and Marcus can pull chunks of history from peoples minds, mainly just big events. But aside from that, you would never know this was a paranormal book at all. 4) Marcus is gay while Christian is bisexual. The majority of the relations in this book are MM. 5) Did I read that correctly? Is Cinderella (Rella) in here? 6) The MF relationships seemed very forced. It always seemed like the female was always jumping the gun to get the man and then things would go downhill. 7) SPOILER, highlight to read it. I never liked Marcus and am happy he was killed off. 8) Whisper annoyed me. I want more Thunder. I want a book with some more Thunder!
Overall, it wasn't paranormal enough for me and there was just too much put into one book and it was rushed through. Would I recommend this? Absolutely, and I plan to because I feel like lots of people would really enjoy this. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it, but I was looking for more of the paranormal and less of the drama (unless it was related to the paranormal). Still, the stories in themselves were decent but needed more room to play.