Brandon Jeffery’s summer started out with a bang—as in, a friend crashed his car and now he has to work two jobs to pay it off. It’s at Fascination Street Records that he’s introduced to a beautiful but quiet girl named Marvel. She’s new to Hidden Cove and looking for a summer job, so Brandon secretly strikes a deal with their boss to work for free so she can be hired.
When a classmate is found murdered, however, their summer takes a turn for the mysterious. Brandon’s friend Devon is sure he knows just who’s to blame: the creepy recluse of the town quarry. But the police have few leads, and Brandon has the sneaking suspicion he’s being watched.
That’s not what’s in the forefront of on his mind, though. More than trying to pay off his car to his unemployed, alcoholic father and protecting Seth Belcher from the school bullies, he’s determined to date Marvel. He doesn’t understand why they seem so close and she refuses to date him, but as the mystery behind her tragic past begins to unravel, Marvel finally confesses her reasons....but can Brandon accept them, or will he find himself in deeper than he thought?
First off, this is the first novel that I have read by Travis Thrasher, so I am not yet familiar with his style or series formatting. For me, I thought Marvelous by Travis Thrasher started off well enough. I was beginning to like the characters, to feel compassion for Brandon as he faced an abusive father, and I was intrigued by the mysteries that surrounded Brandon and his friends. However, as the book continued, I felt the story began to drag significantly as the summer began to come to a close and nothing had been resolved. Instead, the whole story seemed to center around Marvel and her quirky nature and Brandon's growing obsession with getting to know her better. In the end, everything else was just left to drag behind as unconnected strings, and I still had no idea what was going on with Seth, what person was murdering young teens, and what was going to happen with Brandon and his dad. The only thing that kept me from giving this book two stars was the fact that I found out it is just the first in the Books of Marvel, so I am hoping that the next book will offer more clarity. However, despite my issues with the overall plot of the book, I did enjoy getting to know Brandon, his friends, and Marvel. All of the characters were interesting and fairly realistic, besides Marvel of course. I am still not sure what I think of her, but she is definitely intriguing and appears to have a very close relationship with God, which I liked. I do look forward to seeing what will happen to her as she continues to press forward in following what she believes is God's plan for her life. Some of the visions and spiritual aspects of the book I did find to be a bit odd and certainly abnormal, but it did not detract too much from the book for me. It will be interesting to see how the author develops those in future books. Overall, Marvelous was not my favorite book, nor does it have a very satisfying ending, but it was definitely still an interesting read. I received this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.