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....
©2009 Kami Garcia; (P)2009 Hachette
It's rare that I can't finish a book, but I knew it was time to quit when I found myself cringing at the thought of picking it up again. So I'm bailing at 75%. I just don't care what happens at the end. And I don't care about these characters either, after hoping all that time for the authors to build them into people you want to know better and understand. For the past few chapters I've continued to listen to try to figure out why, as I'm a writer too and want to know how not to make this mistake. But I've lost patience with that process as well as the book.
Part of the problem is the narrator who has a strange understanding of Southern accents, which seem to heighten and disappear like passing clouds. Even his main character is difficult to identify at times because his accent is constantly changing. And, yes, it's a story about teenagers and teenage love, and I get that it's YA, but teenagers these days have far more depth than any of the characters the authors have created. High school is so much more than petty spats between warring cliques, and I believe the authors passed up some fine opportunities in the HS setting to add meaning to the story and to the characters.
The other challenge to this story is the artifical construct of the "caster" world the authors try to create. While I know the book has been praised for placing a story in the present time in a place any one of us could recognize, supposedly making it that much scarier, it felt more contrived to me than the fantasy world created in the Harry Potter books. And even though I haven't finished it, I know this book is too long for the story it's trying to tell.
All in all, a big disappointment, and one I regret spending a credit on.
This performances and presentation for this book were very well done.
The storyline will be appealing to "Twilight" crowd but I'm not sure how or why this could have crossover appeal for adults (as, say the Harry Potter series seems to have). I don't know how this got such high ratings. It's so superficial and shallow I could barely get through it.
The plot is basic, the characters are 1-dimentional, the dialogue is inane teenage chatter that never touches on subjects more profound than the desiree to fit in, get a boyfriend, or gain independance. Descriptions of characters are repetitive; each insight or description just reinforces what we already know about the characters and the travails of High School in a rural town.
Overall, this is unrewarding fluff written for a 6th grade reading level. That said, teenagers will probably have fun with it.
This is a formula story, but I enjoyed it all the same. I'd describe this as a good listen for a lazy road trip or a day at the beach when you don't want to think too deeply.
The book was a little slow at first, but got better as it went on and you started piecing it all together. The narrator did a great job with the voices. It had a lot of sound effects and at first made me think there was something wrong with my ipod. I found them distracting, but my 12 year old daughter thought they were cool.
I was shocked just how much better the book was than the movie. I was afraid that it would be a cheep knock off of Twilight but it is a book all its own. Very intriguing. And the reader rocks hard with sound effects. Then ending froult like it was made with the idea that there was another book to be made so not much was resolved, but that aside it was still good.
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