Page Count: 384 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Romance, Mystery
I have very, very mixed feelings about this book. This one may get a little long winded. Here’s your synopsis from Amazon:
Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery…who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.
1. The writing. Sometimes decent, sometimes too immature, and sometimes absolutely aggravating.
There were times in this book where I thought I was reading a middle grade book; I remembered the main character, Violet is 17 and it surprised me. The synopsis on Amazon (a part I didn’t copy) claimed there are elements of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Stephen King. I saw none of these similarities. This seemed rushed. At points I was captivated, but for most of the book, I was waiting for the book to start.
2. The main character made me so angry.
Violet White (stupid name. All of these characters have stupid names) is an idiot. She kept reminding me of a battered wife who couldn’t leave her husband because he only did it for her own good. She falls for River, who toes the line between good and evil, and the whole book is her convincing herself “yes, I can’t wait to see him” or “no, I shouldn’t want to see him…but I totally want to see him. Let’s sleep in his bed while we figure it out.” Just…no. She was infuriating. It’s tough to enjoy a book when you don’t like the MC.
3. There were some saving graces. I loved Jack and Luke.
So, Jack is kind of a random character. I really saw no point in keeping him around after he sees the Devil in a graveyard, but there he is, through the whole book. Regardless of his uselessness, I really liked him. He’s a lost little kid who finds a family with Violet and her brother, Luke. That actually kind of warmed my heart towards this book a little. And Luke! You’re supposed to hate him, because Violet hates her brother, but I couldn’t help loving him. He was really the only character in this book who made any sense at all. When he is painting, he’s my favorite. He’s a loving brother who does brotherly things like hide his love through beating up his little sister. He was one of my favorites.
4. The whole “magical” element of this book was stupid. The “scary” parts were not scary. When interesting things actually started happening, it felt rushed and I was bored immediately.
That was a long winded point, but still. The magic is stupid. For a book touting itself as similar to Stephen King, there was no horror. There was a part towards the end that was a little creepy, but that faded really fast. Maybe this ties back to the writing, too? I don’t know.
OVERALL: 2.5 stars. I finished this book mainly because of my curiosity. However, it was much like The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, where you think it ends, then it keeps going on and on and on and on. It was a decent ride, not necessarily fun or scary or mysterious. Mainly just an annoying MC carrying on about what she wants to do. I understand she’s a teenager, but this was rough. If you want to try it, you don’t have to take my word for it! Click the link below to order!