First Lines: Up until that point, English class had been unremarkable. We were halfway through The Picture of Dorian Gray. Mrs. Harris, with her voluminous behind precariously perched on the front of her strained wooden desk, scanned the room searching for flickers of comprehension–or, at the very least, consciousness–in a sea of clueless faces.
It’s always fun to go to the library and see what they’ve recently added. Mine has a shelf of new YA books that I always scour when I go. This happened to be on that shelf last time I went, but I almost didn’t pick it up because this bad boy (…girl?) is over 500 pages. But obviously, I checked it out.
Haven Terra has spent her life trying to reach her goals. At 16, her current goal is to succeed in school and get into a good college. To Haven’s surprise, she’s chosen for an internship at the newly renovated and totally glamorous Lexington Hotel, run by the up-and-coming gorgeous young business woman Aurelia Brown. Aurelia’s second in command is the charming Lucian…who seems to have taken an interest in Haven. And she’s already head over heels for His Handsomeness. But the more time Haven spends in the hotel, the more things seem…off. Something isn’t right. It turns out Aurelia and her crew are in the business of buying and selling souls. With her school’s prom looming in the horizon, and set to take place at the hotel, can Haven possibly put an end to all the evil?
I knew right from the beginning that I liked Haven. I think part of it is that I was a lot like her in high school. Then again, how many avid readers aren’t like the stereotypical nerdy character: quiet, shy, smart, but don’t exactly fit in. Hello, that’s practically our calling card. But I digress. Haven has a way of speaking that was just so fun to read. Read the first lines if you haven’t already. I mean, it’s factual, but snarky. She keeps that through most of the story.
The other characters were also just absolutely charming and diverse. Haven’s fellow interns, Lance and Dante, were equally entertaining. They had their own perspectives on things that easily contrasted and complimented Haven. Aurelia and Lucian were also great characters because of the way they carried themselves. You could tell they were these regal beings who were accustomed to greatness and that’s what they expected.
That’s another thing. The imagery/the writing style. However you want to define it, it was incredible. I feel like I’ve actually been to the Lexington Hotel. She does tend to draw out even the smallest things, but it really paints a vivid picture of everything. This was definitely a case of failing to see the words and instead seeing the book in your head like a movie. It’s so fantastic when this happens. I also noticed that I didn’t feel written down to. Like, the language is sophisticated and obvious things weren’t pointed out 3 chapters later like you hadn’t figured it out yet. It was very much on the level. I don’t think I’ve read anything like this for some time.
Admittedly, there were times I had a hard time reading maybe a portion of a couple of chapters. That’s mostly because I had already made my mind up about a few characters and I just didn’t want to see Haven spend more time around the ones I didn’t like. (If you can’t tell, I got completely and utterly sucked into this book. It’s like I was Haven.)
I adored this. I am so reading the sequel. May it live up to this one’s epicness.