Originally posted at arielavalon.com
Samantha and her family have moved around the country all her life, supposably searching for better weather for her father's severe allergies. Lacuna Valley quickly shows itself to be different than anywhere else. She meets a boy who seems to know more about her and her family and she does, and her sister's praying is starting to look like she really can make things happen just by wishing for them. As Sam learns more about her family, she has to wonder, does her mother really want to kill her?
This novel was really hard for me to review. I was on the fence about a lot of it. The characters were hard to get attached to. I honestly couldn't tell you what Nick looks like. If his description was there, it was rushed so quickly to make it unmemorable. I was able to get more of a visual for some of the side characters than I could for the main characters. But beyond that, Sam and Nick especially were really poorly fleshed out. There were boring. I didn't hate them, but I couldn't root for them either. I just didn't care. I found myself more interested in Violet and Zach than anyone else. Danielle was the hardest to figure out. One minute it felt like she was just mentally unbalanced. Then the next it would seem that she was nothing more than a self absorbed, heartless, monster. She was too hot and cold and it made her difficult to deal with. She felt very one dimensional at that. You could've put in a cardboard box with a knife and you would have just as much of a villain.
The story was nice. Muddled and felt poorly thought out or executed, I'm not sure which, but it was still nice. The plot is intriguing. You want to know what happens. However, when you get to the end of the book, although you kind of want to know what happens next, because of the weak characters and the thin plot, you don't care as much as you should. The plot only feels thin because of the writing. If it had been better written, I think it would've been amazing. But instead it jumps around, confusing you. It was also really really slow to start. You have all these scenes or whining and that characters going back and forth, arguing about the same thing they were in the previous chapter with no new information coming out of them. It wasn't until the last quarter of the book that things really pick up, but by then, it's too late to save it. Not enough can be fit into that remaining section to satisfy you. You finish the book and are left with far more questions than you should have and a sense of frustration at the lack of resolution.
It had it's moments, and I will still read the next in the series, but I hope that some of the flaws are fixed for it, because a little gem of a story is hiding in here just waiting to be shined.