Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blake is haunted by death. Her estranged sister has made the ultimate dramatic exit. Running away from school, joining a surfing fraternity, partying hard: that sounds like Sienna. But suicide? It makes no sense.
Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarlett comes to the isolated cove of Twycombe, Devon, with grand plans to uncover the truth. Alone. But she hasn’t reckoned on meeting two boys who are determined to help her. Luke: the blue-eyed surfer who’ll see the real Scarlett, who’ll challenge her, who’ll save her. And Jude: the elusive drifter with a knack for turning up whenever Scarlett’s in need.
As Scarlett’s quest for the truth unravels, so too does her grip on reality as she’s always known it. Because there’s something strange going on in this little cove. A dead magpie circles the skies. A dead deer watches from the undergrowth. Hands glow with light. Warmth. Power.
What transpires is a summer of discovery. Of what it means to conquer fear. To fall in love. To choose life. To choose death.
To believe the impossible.
This book was not what I expected. When Scarlett decides to investigate her sister’s suicide, I was expecting more of a murder mystery type set-up, which is how the whole thing starts out. She wants to understand her sister’s frame of mind and why on earth she would kill herself. Then paranormal events begin to unfold which give this story quite the original twist.
The writing was beautiful, sometimes poetic in nature, and the story flowed easily. I enjoyed Scarlett’s inquisitive nature and strong willed personality. The fact that she is frightened of the ocean, but is still determined to go out there and learn to surf, demonstrates an inner strength and desire to defy initial strictures and limitations placed upon her by her parents, who are seriously screwed up.
I loved Jude. I thought he was a compelling character. Someone who obviously has an interesting background and story of his own, but little of that is explored until the very end, leaving questions that will urge you to continue on with the next book. I can’t figure out yet if he is going to be a love interest or if he is more of a guide and mentor for her. Interesting dynamic, that. It will be exciting to see how the author develops the relationship between Jude and Scarlett.
Luke is just plain wonderful. A concerned, caring guy who has taken on the role of protector for not only his sister but also Scarlett. I appreciated the way the author understood her character’s motives, personalities and end goals. All of their actions and their dialogue were in tune with their specific archtypes and any deviation from their original role only happened after some well plotted character development which still fit perfectly with their actions and was believable. I never sat there thinking, “These characters would never behave this way.”
I want to continue on with the series, but I know Scarlett is going to have some difficult decisions to make which will most likely be heart wrenching for the characters and readers alike. Grab some tissues if you got ’em.
I enjoyed this unexpectedly engrossing story line, and recommend it to fans of mystery, paranormal romance and young adult fiction.
I gave it five cherry blossoms!