I’m Not Supposed to Be in the Dark by Riss M. Neilson Review – Discovering the Supernatural

I'm Not Supposed to Be in the Dark by Riss M. Neilson

I'm Not Supposed to Be in the Dark by Riss M. Neilson

The story of I’m Not Supposed to Be in the Dark by Riss M. Neilson follows the life of Arya, who follows the advice of her mother and grandfather and drinks tea every day to ward off ghosts. But when she sees a burning rose bush in her boyfriend Derek’s house, her connection to the dead becomes clear. After seeing a strange vision, Aria abandons the car and discovers a long-forgotten memory. After learning of Derek’s existence, she begins a journey to send her soul to a peaceful place.

The book surprised me and exceeded my expectations. The vivid imagery, from the wisteria to Aria’s unique worldview, made it easy to imagine readers with the same perspective as me. The scary moments felt real and added to the realism. Despite being labeled as a paranormal romance, the heart of the story is Arya’s self-discovery and acceptance of her identity and talents. Aria and Derek’s relationship takes a back seat and the focus is more on repairing their friendship. Their relationship has gradually developed and it was timely to discuss taking their relationship to the next level.

What sets this YA story apart is the reliable support system that Aria loves. Friends Derek and Brianna share her journey with their family. His mother and grandfather supported his choice, although they prevented him from protecting him. Her younger sister, Adelia, who is busy with her studies, also lends a helping hand.

Aria’s mixed personality is perfectly integrated into the story. Interestingly, her race is not central to the conflict, nor is her cultural background overemphasized. The storytelling skillfully provides a nuanced approach without focusing too much on Arya’s character. Although the pacing was uneven at times, Rhys M. Nilsson’s engaging writing style kept me engaged. I look forward to exploring more of his literary works.

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