First Lines: I remember most of my fourteenth year in fragments, but one night stands out as clearly as the first star after dusk.
I got this free on Amazon some time ago (though I can tell you it’s still free there, if you’re interested). With school starting, I usually use this time to try to read through my backlog of Kindle books. This was one of the first I saw.
Ariel’s best friend goes missing on a dark night. Those who knew Jenna believe she ran away, but Ariel thinks differently. She thinks Jenna met with foul play, and the nightmares she keeps having only reinforce that. But it seems that Jenna’s disappearance is only the beginning of a bigger mystery. And Ariel’s going to try to get to the bottom of it. The only hitch in her plan is the attention she’s suddenly getting from new-kid-in-town Henry, who doesn’t believe that Ariel may actually be experiencing supernatural events. With the help of also new girl Theo, Ariel sets to work trying to discover the secrets of her town.
I’ll start with the positives. The characters are really well-written, even the ones you don’t want to like. I felt really bad for poor Ariel most of the story since she is this unassuming, almost meek heroine who really would prefer to be left alone. It’s an interesting trait for a heroine, but I liked it. And her one and only friend disappears before the action of the story really starts. That’s tough.
As I mentioned, the other characters are well-written as well. The town is full of snobbish, cliquey adults and kids. Really. It’s not just the high schoolers who are immature and show favoritism. It was almost horrifying to read about some of the stuff the adults were letting happen for some sort of nepotism, as far as I can tell.
And it was a decently scary book. It wasn’t nightmare inducing, but it did make me pause a few times and go, “Why did I decide to read this after 11 PM?” I do love a good scary book.
Most of the other stuff in the story I had problems with, unfortunately. There were virtually no plot questions answered by the end. You know how I mentioned the cliquey adults? There’s definitely something going on with that. The only problem is, I have no idea what it is. I have my theories, but that’s it. It was incredibly frustrating because there were plenty of questions to keep you reading, but very very few answers. I’m not sure I want to read the next book simply because I’m afraid she’ll do it again at the end of that one too.
Also as I previously mentioned, there are some truly horrible things that happen in the book with no sense of justice. I hated that. As a future teacher, it really irks me when seemingly tons of YA books are putting teachers in a bad light. It’s really starting to become a pet peeve of mine. I just hated the way teachers and school was portrayed, mostly because of the attitude of the “evil” characters.
It really wasn’t a horrible read, but it was hard to stay with it when I started figuring out there wasn’t enough time to get the answers I wanted.