The plot: Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
(Summary from goodreads.com)
My opinion: I'm sad to report that I was somewhat disappointed with this novel. I had expected more from it. The novel started out great and I was hooked from page one, but then the pace was just too slow and I started losing interest.
Also, the romance aspect of the novel did nothing for me, and given the fact that I am a great admirer of love stories I was a bit bummed out. As it sadly too often happens in YA, the love story progressed too fast and the two lovebirds started sharing their undying love for one another like the day after they met and I didn't buy it. What's wrong with letting one's characters fall in love like normal people? I also didn't care that much about if the ended up together or not, which basically is death for a literary character in my book.
On the upside, what did I like about the novel was a male MC, the somewhat unique premise and the world building, it was intriguing. I do understand the need for detail when building a new world with so much lore, I really do, but this is a case of details gone wild. There's just too much of it and the pace suffers. I found myself skimming through large chunks of text to get somewhere. I finished it though, more out of some kind of "obligation" than actual interest.
If the authors had chopped about a third of the novel, i.e. all unnecessary details, thus pacing the story a bit, it might have been an excellent book, but now it just wasn't my cup of tea.