Author: Carrie Jones
Number of Pages: 306
It's been four months since Zara's stepdad died of a heart attack right in front of her. She's been sunk deep in depression ever since, so her mom sends her to her grandmother's in Maine for a change of scenery. But Maine in winter isn't exactly the best chipper-upper, especially for a girl from Charleston.
Still, Zara manages to make a few friends, including bouncy Issie, sweet Devyn, and intriguing Nick. But things are going on in this sleepy, tiny town. Boys are disappearing, a mysterious man seems to be stalking her, and there are secrets everywhere. And somehow, Zara herself seems to be at the center of it all.
Why Did I Hype?: Hello, evil pixies? Plus, I like Carrie Jones.
Live-Up-to-the-Hype Score: 7.5/10
I've read Carrie Jones' prior three novels, which are all firmly realistic. This is a bit of a departure for her, so much so that I wonder if someone said, "Hey, Carrie, paranormal's selling like hotcakes. Give it a shot."
I was afraid this would turn out Twilighty and I wasn't happy about it. Luckily, characterization pulled it out. Zara's got points over Bella for having an inner life, some sass and sense, and an actual reason to want to save people (although that too could have been strengthened). She's also got Nick, who (while protective) works with her and mostly respects her.
There are a lot of plot holes, such as "Hello, Zara's Mom? This is common sense. We haven't talked in awhile. Let's discuss your choice to send your daughter back to a town you've been hiding from for the past fifteen years." Plus the air of pixie menace, while often discussed, never really materialized for me. And the ending felt pretty rushed.
Still, if there were a sequel, I wouldn't turn up my nose at it. In fact, I hope there is one, just to catch up some of the loose threads from this book. Give to both Twi-likers and regular paranormal fans alike.