Size: 384 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone?
Source: ARC from BEA
Rating: 2/5 stars
I got an advanced reading copy of this book at Book Expo America. I fell in love with the beautiful cover (I know shame on me). The story is interesting, but not something I enjoyed much. It spends too much time following around teenagers with no morals and pushing the blame of their actions off on the small amount of supernatural explanation in this book.
This story is told from the viewpoint of two teens. The first is Emily; she is struggling with her attraction to her best friend’s, Gabby’s, boyfriend Zach. When Gabby takes off for winter break Emily and Zach are left to their own naughty devices. The second teen is Chase. Chase is trailer trash struggling to fit in with the rich kids in his school, he is also the star quarterback. When he runs into a beautiful girl named Ty his life starts spiraling out of control. Little do Emily and Chase know that somehow bad choices they have made have sucked in supernatural forces not known to most people, and these forces are going to make sure that Emily and Chase pay for any previous mistakes they have made or will make.
The majority of this book focuses on all the naughty things that Emily and Chase end up doing over their winter break. As such this is probably a book for older teens and is full of characters I would not recommend as role models for anyone. There are little hints of supernatural forces throughout; the faces Emily sees at her window at night and the beautiful girls that seem to haunt Emily and Chase throughout their winter break. They are only hints of magic…that is until the end of the book. To be honest all of the stalking, window peeking, suicides, etc make this book seem more like a thriller/horror novel than a paranormal one.
Neither Emily or Chase are very good characters. Emily cheats on her best friend’s boyfriend for goodness sake and thinks all will be forgiven if she buys Gabby an expensive Christmas present. Chase is more of a mystery; you can’t figure out why someone is out to get Chase until the end of the book. Delicate readers beware though. Not only are social economics made fun of in this book (Chase is constantly ragged on for being poor and for being trailer trash), Chase is humiliated by having naked pictures of himself plastered around school, and cavorts nakedly with Ty during a room painting session…additionally there are suicides, ugly language, and scenes of sexual behavior between teens throughout. Honestly the morality and looseness of this book reminded me a lot of Swoon by Nina Malkin (definitely one of my least favorite books of last year).
The only decent character in this book is the sweet JD, Emily’s neighbor friend who obviously adores her. JD is much more than Emily deserves and the only character in this book that I acutally cared about and found interesting, he had a great personality and some style to boot.
The book is easy to read and generally well-written. The only thing that makes this story engaging is the car-wreck quality to it all. As a reader I was confused by what all of this wanton teenage behavior was leading to and only kept reading out of sheer morbid curiousity.
In the end the mythology of the Furies is tied into the story, but it is really only at the very end of the book. The way all of the mythology and theory behind the goings on throughout the story was shoved into the end of the story felt rushed and contrived.
I have to admit the part where Emily binds the Furies to her is intriguing. I wish this had happened at the beginning of the book.
Overall I didn’t enjoy the story all that much. It spends a lot of time dwelling on Emily’s and Chase’s naughty behavior at the beginning, this made the story slow and made me wonder what the whole point was. It isn’t until much later in the story that the supernatural elements come in to play. This story is more of a thriller than paranormal, so those who don’t like scary reads should look elsewhere. The characters are unlikable and the things they do un-excusable. I so wanted to love this book, the idea of tying the mythology of the Furies into a story could be really cool. I won’t be reading any more books in this series, to be honest the best thing about this book is the beautiful cover.