- Reading level: Young Adult
- Paperback: 592 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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 that 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.
Let me first start out by saying that Ang and I attended a chat awhile back with the two authors of this book. I personally have never heard of the series and after the chat I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book! (I say that a lot huh? lol)
Anyways, the best thing (for me) about this book is that it's from Ethan's point of view. I can't tell you the last time I read a book from a male's prospective. Ethan is a breath of fresh air!
Like most books there are some people who think the book is over hyped. I will admit at first it was kind of bland but the deeper I got into the book the more invested I became in its characters.
Ethan Wate is our hero with a tragic past who is ready to bust out of his home town of Gatlin, SC and never look back. Ethan lost his mother a year before the book takes place. So he's still pretty vulnerable in the opening pages of the book. His dad has turned into a recluse since his mothers death and his house keeper, Amma, has a habit of leaving dolls/charms around the house for protection from unseen forces.
FYI, Amma is the shiz.
I want a nanny/housekeeper as cool as she is...
This book broadened my vocabulary through the love of Amma's crosswords! lol I found myself giggling out loud and re-reading every time she would use a word from her crossword in regards to something Ethan did.
Any who, Link is Ethan's best friend and he brings most of the comedy to the story. Link is seriously one of the best friends anyone could ever have. One of my favorite lines in the book is when Ethan explains how Link/himself became friends. (Apparently Link asked Ethan if he wanted the other half of his Twinkie on the bus in 2nd grade. Ethan later found out the reason Link offered it was because he had dropped it on the floor! =P)
You also find out in the opening pages that Ethan has been haunted by his dreams for a while now. Dreams about a girl who smells of rosemary and lemons. He's alway trying to save her from falling but never finishes the dream.
I'll give you one guess who said girl is...umhmm. =D
Lena Ducchanes is nothing but strange. She's actually what I always wanted to be in high school but never had enough courage or confidence to pull off. She has long black hair and loves to rock the painted black nails and emo/punk/goth inspired wardrobe! I love it! She's not popular. She's moody. Irrational at times and can change the weather with her emotions. I'm pretty much the same way minus the changing the weather when I'm sad part! So I can relate to her in a lot of different ways.
...Oh and she's a Caster...
...Who has to claim herself on her 16th moon...
Kind of like a Good Witch, Bad Witch scenario.
As if being a teenager wasn't hard enough!
In a town where everyone knows everyones business (the mailman reads every letter you get just b/c it's easier to hear bad news from someone who knows you instead of reading it off of a piece of paper lol) and the Civil War is known as The War of Northern Aggression. You can only imagine how bad things are shook up with Lena Ducchanes enrolls at Stonewall Jackson High.
Kami and Margaret do a fantastic job of making the reader feel like they're in South Carolina. I, myself, am a Carolina girl and I can say with 100% certainty they have some of our small town folks here figured out to a "T". I lost myself in their world for 3 whole days and it was ahh-mazin!
This book deserved a solid four (IMO)!
Also, the best line of the book is:
"Mortals. I envy you. You think you can change things. Stop the universe. Undo what was done long before you came along. You are such beautiful creatures."
This book was an excellent read and I'm looking forward to seeing what will happen next!