The Secret of Yashire: Emerging from the Shadows is in the ‘ordinary person gets transported to another world’ genre of fantasy. Brianna is a teen girl who knows that she is out of control, but struggles to know how to turn her life around. When she is hit by a car she is transported to Yashire, where she is told she will heal the land by healing herself. Her quest is to ready herself to find her soul mate by collecting the virtues needed for a good relationship.
Leaving aside the issues I have with the concept of a single soul mate who is the only person born to make us complete, the virtues she collects are indeed what are needed for a good relationship of any kind. I would also note the book highlights that relationships take work and don’t happen magically. So the message of the book is good and it is worth reading for that reason alone.
Like most books with a message, the story suffers. This is something I struggle with myself so I know how hard it is to put the theme on the back shelf and let the story develop naturally. In this case the explanation of the virtues takes precedence over any struggle to achieve them. Brianna wanders through the land and is simply handed the virtues without any test or trial to achieve them. The changes in her are not earned. I would really like to see more conflict (not violence but the need to make tough choices). The harder she works, the more believable the shift in her life will be.
So the bottom line is if you want really good advice about relationships, this is a good book to read. If you want a story you can’t put down, not so much. It is the beginning of a series, so perhaps later volumes will be a little stronger on the plot.