Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Ethan Wate has lived in Gatlin his whole life and can’t wait to escape. But his nights are haunted by dreams of a girl that he has never met, and when Lena Duchannes moves to town the connection between them cannot be denied. This quiet town is suddenly full of surprises and secrets, and while Lena struggles to control her powers and her curse; her and Ethan spiral into mysteries and events beyond their control.
I thought this plot line was very unique, and I was a little surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I had no idea about the storyline so it was all a bit of a pleasant surprise. The first 100 pages were a little slow, but once I was through those and really into the book I found it addicting and couldn’t put it down.
The atmosphere is the book was great, and really well built up. I felt myself feeling how it must have felt for Ethan and Lena. The setting really came to life; which also added to the atmosphere in the book. I’ve never been to any part of America so I don’t know any examples of what a small town like Gatlin would be like. However, the writing brought it to life so well that I found myself really drawn into this town and I began to really understand what it was like for Ethan to be in this stifling town where everyone knows everyone and everything that goes on.
I liked Ethan’s characters, I’m glad he narrated (and not Lena). He seemed very strong, he knew what he wanted to do and once he made a decision or choice that he felt was right, he stuck by it – even if that led to less desirable consequences for himself. I particularly liked Ethan’s devotion to Lena. It seemed like he was always there for her, always supporting her and never giving up – even when he had doubts in himself about some things. He put up with a lot from her, and this made me like Lena a little less. I felt a very negative vibe from her in the book, and I got a little fed up of the ‘doom and gloom’ personna and the constant “you should stay away, I’m dangerous”. I feel like I’ve read a lot of books with a protagonist who takes the same “stay away” standpoint. I think it could have been a little more original if both Ethan and Lena had been really fighting together. I did feel their connection and love in the book though, and I liked how much they could be themselves when they were together (which is rather unusual in Lena’s case!)
Ethan and Lena’s families are very interesting to read about. They were both very involved in the storyline, and each family history had an impact on the present day events. I also felt it was more genuine to have these characters quite involved in the lives of Ethan and Lena. In some YA books, the families are very AWOL which doesn’t always feel very believable.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book! It was an enjoyable read, the writing was good and the pacing was just right. I’m really intrigued to find out what happens in the rest of the series 🙂