Publisher: Accendo Press
Release Date: April 19th, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Source: ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb: The Cherokee believe when a person dies, their soul is reborn. Life is repeated. An endless cycle of lessons to be learned, love to be found, destiny to be fulfilled. For the past six months, in every flower, every bird, I’ve imagined my parents, relieved of their human forms.Now, after five months at the Skye View Wellness Center, it was summer. A time for parties and friends, but that’s the last thing I want to do. So when my best friend Erin convinces me to attend a bonfire at Eagle Point, I can’t handle the crowd full of sympathetic stares or drunken class clowns who would use my tragedy as a way into my heart – or my pants. The solitude of the woods offers an escape, until I stumble upon a boy, unconscious and bleeding, his pockets stuffed not with identification but with poetry illustrating the beauty of dying. I’ve seen enough death. I will not leave this boy’s side.
Even after he wakes, when the only thing he can remember are visions of events that haven’t happened yet…
Review: Heather Hildenbrand has a way with words that makes me fall in love with her writing every time. This is my third Hildenbrand book, and while it was my least favorite, I did enjoy the writing very much. She’s great at writing emotions and characters and making you feel something for them. I was very impressed with her characterizations. The problem is is that this book was fairly formulaic. And by that, I mean that I saw everything coming. Nothing was a surprise. It didn’t stand out as an original story and it pretty much just fit the paranormal YA pattern. Unfortunately. I hate to say that.
There were a lot of good things though. It’s still an enjoyable book. It just didn’t go as deep as I would have liked. The Native American mythology was fascinating. So was the setting of Colorado. I loved that animals played a big role in the story. The sensory language and descriptions were well-written and not overdone. It was definitely easy to read as well. It flowed in a beautifully poetic way. Would I recommend it? Definitely. It’s an enjoyable read that handles loss of a loved in an appropriate and beautiful way.
Some of the characters’ motivations were suspect though. And I’m not sure what happened there. Let me explain. To do that, I need to talk about a particular moment in the book. There was a scene where Dylan’s bedroom got vandalized. This happened right AFTER Whisper got into an argument with Taregan. Taregan is the other male that is trying to get it on with Whisper. He’s creepy, weird, and pretty much a dickhead. As a reader, you are not supposed to like Taregan. He is the villain and it’s obvious. The police came by and neither Whisper nor Dylan mentioned Taregan’s name to the police. Sorry, but I’m not buying that. It was really farfetched and hard to believe. It didn’t follow the course of action, and in real life, his name would have been brought up to the police. Repeatedly. What follows is one of the quotes from that scene.
He shook his head. “I don’t know, but don’t be scared. It’s going to be okay.”
I nodded even though I didn’t feel nearly as sure as he sounded. “I wish we had some idea who did this.”
“I know. It’s like I told Officer Kelly, I haven’t had time to make enemies.”
This is the point in the review where I would normally get angry, but I’m not going to. I’m just extremely frustrated that this made it into the book. This conversation is followed by Whisper thinking Taregan wouldn’t do something like this. What, like slicing her hand open with a dagger wasn’t scary enough? He couldn’t POSSIBLE vandalize a room? Just, ugh.
A little later on, Whisper came to the conclusion Taregan was dangerous. But she didn’t go for help. I found that ridiculous as well. She didn’t tell her family members and she didn’t go to the police. I couldn’t understand HOW this made sense until I got to the end of the book and then realized that there was a reason the author had her characters behave this way. It was necessary for the foreshadowing and progression of the story. But. It didn’t work. It just made her characters’ actions seem unrealistic. I must note that this is a small portion of the book I am talking about. It’s like it derailed for a few chapters and then picked right up again and redeemed itself. I’m just sorry it happened at all. Because it really dampened my enjoyment of the story.
Before I go, I want to leave you with my favorite couple of paragraphs from the book. It’s an odd choice, but I really liked the writing and the way it was worded. Also, you should know that although I complained a lot, it was still an enjoyable book. If you like paranormal romance with strong characterizations, you will enjoy this one. The pacing is a little slow, and this is definitely more about the romance than the paranormal, but I did enjoy it. Oh yeah. So here’s that quote.
When I was eleven, I watched my dad kill a chicken. We were at the reservation, visiting my cousins, and I happened to walk up as the axe came down to sever the neck. I let out a scream that abruptly cut off again at the shock of what happened next. With the head lying on the ground and blood spilling out of the open wound, the chicken jumped free of my dad’s grasp and ran.
It was only for a few steps and it was a jerking, convulsing, and off-balance sort of run. But it was a run. Somehow, the sight of that disturbed me more than the killing itself. I didn’t eat dinner that night Seeing nature react in such an impossible way to something as final as death left me shaken for days.