Cipher (Cipher #1)
Author: Cindi Madsen
Publication Date: 22 July 2013
Summer Davis sees deaths before they happen. She attempts to live a normal life by focusing on the dance team and her quarterback boyfriend. But then the way-too-cheery Angel of Death shows up and tells her she’s a Cipher—a person chosen to help people who are going to die resolve problems with their loved ones. Ashlyn Moore, one of Summer’s classmates, is going to die, and she needs Summer’s help before that happens.
It’s nearly impossible to get through to Ashlyn, who surrounds herself with chess nerds and geeks and makes it clear she doesn’t want to be friends. Desperate to complete her Cipher task before it’s too late, Summer turns to Troy, the guy who’s always been there for her and one of the few people she can trust. With his help, she makes progress. In fact, the closer she gets to Ashlyn and her friends, the more she feels like she’s finally found where she belongs.
As the clock starts running down on Ashlyn’s life, Summer decides to change her objective. She’s going to save her new friend before it’s too late—even if it means messing with fate.
Summer appears to be a popular girl on the high school dance team with a quarterback boyfriend, but underneath the surface she struggles to keep herself from falling apart. She sometimes sees people's deaths before it happens, and soon discovers from the Angel of Death that she is a Cipher. It's her job to help people resolve their issues with loved ones before their deaths. And it's not a job Summer wants. She has to befriend Ashlyn, a girl at her school, before it's too late to repair the relationship with her mother.
Summer is easily relatable, she just wants to live a normal teenage life, and works hard to do just that. But her world is turned upside down by a visit from the Angel of Death. She struggles to understand and accept her responsibilities as a Cipher, as any sane girl would! Summer has such a journey to make in this book, her mother's death has made her lose her way a bit. Her friendship with Ashlyn helps her rediscover who she really is, and wants to be.
The romance between Troy and Summer is a slow starter, for most of the book they're just friends- understandable since she's dating Cody at the beginning. I'm definitely intrigued to see where this goes in the rest of the series, because they're very sweet together.
Cipher is filled with heartfelt emotion, and that's what really made this book. It's about friendship, grief and love and you feel such a spectrum of emotions throughout. The ending was just so genuinely moving.
I love Cindi Madsen's writing, and I'm looking forward to seeing where Summer and Troy's relationship will go in the next book.
*I received a review copy from the publisher, for my honest review. Thank you!