by Belle Whittington
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publication Date: July 14, 2011
Source: BookRooster.com (ebook)
Age Rating: 14+
For 17-year-old Blair Reynolds and her friends, being the bearer of secrets is getting really old. But it's something she learns to deal with, because there's no other option. If the people in her small town ever found out what she and her friends discovered in the woods and hid in the storage room, the whole town would be up in arms;literally. You see, folks here don't believe in aliens from outer space. Besides, if they ever found out what two of those aliens did to one of their own, well, let's just say what would follow would be all out war.
As the months unfold, their summer becomes consumed with secrets, puzzle pieces that don't quite fit together, and a fight for their lives that leaves one of them at death's door.
- Plot: Things definitely happen, although, perhaps timed a little off what they should be. Blair is a high school girl whose friends have all just graduated from high school, except she still has another year left. Everyone else is going through major life changes, especially when they all encounter a creature that appears to not be of this world. Her old friend Everett ends up being the most affected by this creature, and thus changes the most, and also makes some drastic changes to his future post-high school plans.
- Characters: Blair is a cute country girl from an inconsequential town in east Texas. Her brother, her grandfather, and her other male friends are so convincingly southern men—it's a hoot! I like Everett the best because he is different from everybody else, a nerd-boy who loves bugs and running into daunting situations head first without fear. He is super cute and I like that he gets to play the main hero character—not some popular jock boy. Although, he ends up going through some serious changes that left me, like Blair, a bit uncomfortable because I really liked Everett as the goofy, clumsy, silly guy.
- Writing: It's simple and effective. Nothing artful, but definitely decent. The southern YA voice was also really well done.
- Storytelling: I think the story could have benefited from starting a bit sooner. There is some back-story for a little while before anything important happens to start the plot. But, it does the job of helping us to get to know the characters. I really like the ambiance of the slow, hot, humid summer on an east Texas ranch, with cicadas whining and fireflies floating around under a blanket of twinkling stars. Very relaxing. It was easy to hear the characters speaking with their southern drawls. I love Blair's mother's rhymes as she spoke in rhymes all the time. It was quaint and sweet. “My Blair with the dark brown hair,” things like that. It seems accurate as to what I know of real people from that region, particularly mothers.
- Overall Quality: Pretty decent and very compelling in parts. I would have liked more information on the inhuman element in the story and why it was around them, why it had been hiding for several years, where it came from, who were its enemies, and how all of that tied into the death of Blair's father and brother (which had already happened prior to the story). I like when I'm more in-the-know than not, but it doesn't mean it's a flaw, as it's so common in literature these days to keep things uber mysterious. Everett was such a neat character, in my personal estimation, he made me want to keep on reading, especially to see where his relationship with Blair would go.
- Favorite Moment/Scene: When the non-human life form Blair and her friends had discovered started to emerge from its pod. I thought Everett's reaction upon seeing it was very interesting and memorable. (He kind of freaked out!) What the life form resembled was also pretty shocking.
- My Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
*I received this title as a complementary copy in exchange for my honest review.
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