Review Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed By Ray Simmons for Readers’ Favorite
I am 58 years old. But I must admit that I still enjoy books about teenagers. I loved them when I was a teenager and I love them just as much today. Seeing with Your Eyes Closed by D.R. Kiss is about magic and young people. It is a great Young Adult novel and I have already recommended it to several of my students and young friends. I like that the magic in Seeing with Your Eyes closed is based on principles and practices from yoga and other Eastern practices. I always like books based on a world with magic in it to give us a reasonable framework and explanation for that magic, and D.R. Kiss does a great job of that in this book.
The magical framework is good for Seeing with Your Eyes Closed, but it is not the book’s strongest point. I think that would be the characters. Gabby, her friends, her family, and her town give us an ideal and charming version of American life in a small town. All D.R. Kiss had to do to make an exciting story added the evil vampires. The plot and characters fit together perfectly. Gabby is as good a female protagonist as Katniss from The Hunger Games. I liked this book and I think everyone else, but especially young girls will like it too. This is the first book in a series called Energy’s Magic. This series has the potential for bestseller status and even a series of movies.
Review Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed By Rosie Malezer for Readers’ Favorite
Seeing with Your Eyes Closed is the first book in Energy’s Magic – a paranormal suspense series written by D.R. Kiss. At first glance, Gabby McKenna seems like any other fourteen-year-old girl. With her two best friends (April and Will) by her side, life is good. This quickly changes, however, when Aristea Weaver arrives on the scene as the new girl in school. Aristea seems to have an unsettling power over Gabby’s free will, and with Aristea’s upcoming Hallowe’en party fast approaching, Gabby realizes that those on the guest list are in for quite a night. Dark Magicks are at play, with Aristea and her friends feeding off the emotions and energy of others. As an empath, Gabby holds the key to shutting down the invasion; if only she can tap into the unleashed energy she holds within.
I was absolutely enthralled by D.R. Kiss’s tale of a girl with such extraordinary abilities. As a Pagan, I possibly read this from a different perspective but ultimately saw values in the main character which brought about feelings of such joy, strength and warmth. Each of the characters has a strength and weakness which leaves them vulnerable to manipulation by forces which seek to do harm, and watching the collapse of Gabby’s focus and ability to see inside herself was an incredibly emotional journey for me personally. The combination of a science assignment and frequent lessons taught to Gabby by her aunt reminded me (in a roundabout way) of the film The Karate Kid, where each lesson given has an undertone and hidden way of training which leads to new heights. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Seeing with Your Eyes Closed and wholeheartedly recommend it to readers who enjoy teenage drama, thrills and spills and the incredible power of intuition and friendship.
Review Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed By Sarah Scheele for Readers’ Favorite
Seeing with Your Eyes Closed is Book One of the Energy’s Magic series. Author D.R. Kiss creates an exciting, well-paced drama with a lot of action that will be very appealing to teenagers. A 14-year-old girl named Gabrielle has powers she doesn’t fully understand—she is able to see the colorful energy readings that come off people. Gabby has never thought much about this ability although her aunt, an energy worker, often counsels and meditates with her. But when three strange girls start seeking her out at school, Gabby makes bad decisions and suddenly loses control of her life. When a misunderstanding with her friend April spirals out of control, and kids at the school are becoming heartbroken and sick right and left, Gabby learns the astonishing truth and has to protect the school from dark energy.
D.R. Kiss’s book is a great read. Expert writing joined up with themes about accountability, good decision-making, and healing meditation are woven into an entertaining plot. Seeing with Your Eyes Closed moves along like a popular teen TV show, part vampire intrigue, part friendship drama, and part romantic comedy. It’s laced with fun quotations at the beginning of each chapter to highlight the experiences of the characters as they grow to empowerment, not through self, but through a community of positive energy practices. Gabrielle is a strongly developed and sympathetic protagonist, a real person with flaws, strengths, crushes, mistakes, and deep feelings. Her quirky grandmother—far wiser than she appears—brought a fun touch and tough April was the perfect sidekick to Gabby’s more sensitive, idealistic personality. This book is quite addictive and after reading it you’ll want to read it over again!
Review Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed By Susan Sewell for Readers’ Favorite
Dark energy is seeping away from the life force in a high school student body, and a teenage girl is the only one who can see it in the intriguing young adult fantasy novel, Seeing with Your Eyes Closed (Energy's Magic, Book One) by D.R. Kiss. Gabby is just like any other adolescent girl, except that she can see colorful auras that surround people. Starting high school can be difficult for anyone, but this year it seems to be a little harder. When she inadvertently offends her best friend, Gabby finds herself involved with a new group of girls. Not really wanting to be a part of their group, Gabby unwillingly agrees to help them stage a phenomenal Halloween party. Strangely, after the party, the mood in the school has taken a downward turn. While eating lunch one day, Gabby notices a dark vortex in the lunchroom; it seems to be sucking away the colors that usually encompass the students. The darkness is pervading, and the brightness of the student body is diminishing. With one of her closest friends a victim of this darkness, Gabby must find a way to bring an end to the destructive force. But how?
Veronica Mars meets Charmed in the riveting YA novel, Seeing with Your Eyes Closed (Energy's Magic, Book One) by D.R. Kiss. It is a stunning story with unusual and mystical aspects. The protagonist, Gabby, has unique skills and a positive attitude which makes a distinctive contrast to her companions, creating friction and conflict. The plot sets up the following books beautifully, creating a sense of excitement and suspense, leaving the reader anticipating the sequel. I appreciated the author's inclusion of spirituality, and especially enjoyed the unique take on high school drama. Portraying the "Mean Girls" in an energetic and thoroughly realistic light, I felt readers could benefit from this innovative and original understanding of energy exchange. With fascinating characters and an intriguing plot, this book will appeal to fans of paranormal mysteries and young adult adventures.
Review Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed By Lit Amri for Readers’ Favorite
In Seeing with Your Eyes Closed (Energy’s Magic, Book One) by D.R. Kiss, 14-year-old Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ McKenna has been taught by her Auntie M about yoga, chakras, and meditation. She's about to discover more regarding the magic of energy when Auntie M sends her a moonstone pendulum. Unfortunately, a strange student in her school named Aristea Weaver has somehow manipulated her into joining a group to build a maze for a Halloween party. Gabby will soon find out that Aristea and her group have sinister intentions.
At the very start, the holistic way of life that the young character leads is easily discernible and is a main element in the story concept. I wish I had the same pendulum as Gabby since I can be indecisive for a long time in certain matters. Gabby’s dislike towards her grandmother attitude is funny and understandable, especially when the protagonist is a 14-year-old teen. Thebuild up of the plot is somewhat slow, but there are solid messages about body image, an unhealthy level of self-consciousness, friendship, peer pressure and other social issues that teens usually have to face in their lives.
It is a first for me to read about Reiki teaching in a YA story. I also don’t know any teens that are interested in yoga or meditation, as the teens in my family and friends' circle certainly don’t have the same approach to life like Gabby and her aunt. However, all in all, Seeing with Your Eyes Closed is a different but solid, clean read for its intended audience.