Author: Yvonne Woon
Released: September 21, 2010
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Next Book: Life Eternal
Author's Website: http://yvonnewoon.com/
Renee Winters is reeling from the double death of her parents - supposedly from a double heart attack, but who ever heard of two people in perfect health both having heart attacks at the very same moment? On top of that, her grandfather, now her legal guardian, uproots her from her school and friends and sends her to a boarding school out in the remote parts of Maine. Adjusting to a new place is bad enough, but strange things have happened here, and strange things continue to happen. While Renee makes new friends and starts to fall in love with the most perfect guy, Dante, she tries to figure out what exactly is going on - but the truth may be far more than she ever wanted to know.
Right from the very start, this book is deliciously dark, excitingly dangerous, intriguing and utterly mysterious. The tone is perfect, totally creeping me out most of the time! But it's a good kind of creeping out - it is talking about death, after all, so it is dark and - to quote Renee - morbid. But it completely sucked me in, and I had to finish it all in one sitting, even though that meant I put some of my work on hold!
As a sort-of mystery, the book delivers the perfect dose of clues, leads, and dead-ends. While Renee tries to figure out what's going on, I was trying to as well, and it was just the right amount of frustrating that I had some bits of information which only served to confuse me more, up until when Renee finds out for sure what's going on. And then I was on tenterhooks waiting to see what Renee would do about it!
Renee is a great girl to be going on this ride with. She's sassy and fearless, but she shows real fear when she finds out the truth. She's a real person, with complex emotions, and she's got flaws - plenty of them - but that only makes her more endearing. I love how she refuses to see why Dante would want to be with her, which basically shows how insecure she really is under all that bravado.
And Dante... Sigh... Dante... Apart from the perfect description of his utter handsomeness, he is the consummate gentleman, and Renee is absolutely right in thinking he's perfect. (I seem to be using the word "perfect" a lot here - mean something? You bet it does!) Everything he does, everything he says, made me fall more in love with him.
And what he does at the end - such a perfect ending for the book! I read the last couple of paragraphs a few times, just to savor how absolutely perfect the whole thing is. And now excuse me - I'm going to re-read the last chapter again!