I wanted to love The Pace, I really did. I'd heard so many good things about it. Unfortunately, this book didn't really live up to all the hype. Don't get me wrong, The Pace is a good book; it's just not an excellent book. I couldn't help seeing a lot of plot points very similar to Twilight.
For instance, the main character, Sophie, lives with only one parent and she has just moved back to the town in which she was born. In this town she meets a boy who doesn't seem to show very much interest in her, but eventually comes around. They start dating, but it's pretty obvious that the boy, Wes, has a secret. Lo and behold, Wes is immortal. About three quarters through the novel, Wes pulls a New Moon and abruptly breaks up with Sophie because he thinks she will die if he stays with her (sound familiar?). He also pulls some over-protective borderline stalker moves. Top it off with the fact that he comes over every night (from the terrace, not a window), and you've got two very similar plots. Oh, and there's also the life and death show down with the bad guy at the end.
Now that my Twilight rant is over, I have to say that this book does have some great elements. For one thing, Shelena Shorts came up with a really creative and logical explanation for immortality, instead of chalking it up to being a vampire. Also, Sophie is most definitely not like Bella. Sophie isn't afraid to voice her opinions, and she isn't constantly whining about the fact that she's aging much faster than her boyfriend.
All this comparison to Twilight aside, The Pace is a unique story (yes, that statement is a contradiction to most of what I just said, but hey). I absolutely love the fact that reincarnation plays a part in the book. I really didn't expect that and it added more depth to the story. Also, the explanation for Wes' apparent immortality (you'll have to read the book to find out what this truly brilliant explanation is) was extremely refreshing.
Now on to Sophie and Wes' relationship. I have to say that I love this couple. They just act so right, and I love reading their scenes together. Furthermore, they have a healthy relationship. One person doesn't dominate the other, and they actually talk to each other.
After reading The Pace, I also read The Broken Lake, the second book in the Pace series, and I absolutely love it. It was completely worth reading all those Twilight parallels in the first book to get to this one. The plot is totally original, the twists and turns leave your head spinning (in a good way), and there is no shortage of sweet romantic moments.
In this novel, Wes and Sophie face new challenges in their relationship and new foes. The mystery and suspense moves the plot and adds some really intense moments. I have to admit that I simply could not put The Broken Lake down. In fact, I may have read it when I really should have been doing my Chemistry homework.
However, I do have another bone to pick with this series. The cliff-hangers are killer! I could hardly stand it! It's even worse than the end of The Empire Strikes Back when you don't know what's happening to Han Solo.
Anyway, the bottom line is that you should read this series. I can't even tell you how eager I am to read the next book, The Iron Quill! (Isn't that a deliciously intriguing title?)