Publication: December 2009
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Audience: 15 and up
Rating: 5 out of 5
Rating: 5 out of 5
Synopsis (from the cover):
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse the has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens,. murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
I purchased this book to read during Spring Break as well as Let's Pretend This Never Happened to round out my Amazon order for free shipping. I'm really glad I did. I read the Before chapter, titled The Middle of Nowhere, and knew instantly that I was going to love this novel. That little chapter describes my home town, so I was personally invested from the very beginning. I read bits and pieces during the school semester, but the weekend after I graduated I devoured this book. It has been so very long since a book has sucked me in and made me want to stay up all hours until I have finished.
The characters seem like real people I know. Cricket mentioned that she felt Ethan was more like a girl character as we knew his thoughts and feelings, whereas Lena acted more like a boy in the sense that she was reserved and a mystery to the reader. I think it just had to to do with the fact that the book is from Ethan's perspective and Lena is supposed to be a mystery for us to unravel with Ethan. Ridley is such a bad girl. She is a loveable bad girl. I liked her until an incident made me hate her, but she ended up redeeming herself. She is still a bad girl, but I love watching her interactions with the people of Gatlin. Marian the Librarian is just a phenomenal character (my opinion may be biased since I am a librarian now). I never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I know enough to say that I think Marian is a female Giles. I loved loved loved the three sisters- Prudence, Mercy, and Grace- they were a complete hoot. I also liked Amma, Ethan, Link, Lena, and Macon. As I said, I knew I would love this book and I do.
I have recently bought the other three, which was a challenge because they were sold out at various stores. I had to buy them at different stores throughout town. So, I have the second one and I'm about 50 pages in. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series. I am taking a break so I do not over do it and become bored in the middle of one, but I plan to continue to read the series. If you see it at the library or book store, pick it up! If you know you love paranormal, young adult, southern, fantasy (or any of the genres) TRY IT! I really enjoyed it and hope you will or do too.