Life hasn’t been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Conner, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she’s irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.
But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can’t stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma’s been having the oddest dreams. Visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.
When I read the premise for this book, I just knew that I had to read it. I think that I’m becoming a bit of a sucker for YA Paranormal Romance books.
The theory of reincarnation is not a new one, but with the way that the author has written this book – it’s a great twist on that theory. I was enthralled by both Emma and Brendan, and their unnatural draw towards each other.
Emma has by no means had it easy. In fact, her entire life has been disaster followed by more disasters – each worse than the previous one. Apart from moving to a strange city, and living with her aunt, and going to a strange new school – Emma thinks that life is better than it was previously, until she discovers a past that she has no way of escaping.
Brendan with his sexy bad-boy/rock star looks, has never been attracted to anyone at his school, and he doesn’t intend to start now, either. Then Emma arrives at school, and turns both their lives on its axis. Nothing is what it seems, and nor can it be easily explained.
There is a lot of back story built into this book, that allows the reader to really get a feel for the world building that Cara Lynn Shultz has developed. There are broken relationships, death, myths, bizarre happenings, and of course bonds that are made to be broken. This is a complex storyline for a Young Adult book, and I have the impression that the age it is aimed at is definitely 16+. There are moments in this book that are so riveting, that you can just feel the despair in the characters when contemplating their impossible situation.
Emma has some incredibly amusing thought processes that really made me laugh. They are so typical of any female swooning over someone, or meeting people for the first time. But my favourite line that really made me laugh, is this one: “She was so cold, she probably farted ice cubes.” There is also the typical female teenage catty dialogue that is so prominent within the territory of adolescent world. Cara Lynn Shultz has a natural knack for capturing that, as well as the typical teenage male macho grunting, and conversation avoidance issues.
But if you put all of that aside, you realise that this book becomes a fight for their survival as they try and understand a curse that was laid on them hundreds of years beforehand. I think that all teenagers have a natural curiosity about the unexplained, the paranormal, and the impossible. This is where Cara Lynn Shultz really hits the nail on the head. There is the romance, the unexplainable, and the spookiness that captures teenage attention, as well as the actions that forces Emma into impossible situations.
I think that in terms of a Young Adult book, I would probably give this a 4 star rating. It was fun, witty, gripping, and the characters were great. With these types of dynamics woven with the myths and unknown, it was a great plotline.
Pub Date: 06/28/2011