by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
When Ethan Wate meets the literal girl of his dreams, Lena Duchannes, his small town life is changed as he discovers the secret powers and curses that connect them to one another.
I have mixed feelings about this one. The setting felt a bit like a parody of the south. Gatlin was described in a way that made it feel like it was constantly trying to prove how confederate and old-fashioned it was, rather than simply being confederate and old-fashioned. While there was a lot going on plot-wise, parts of the story that weren’t as important felt drawn out at times. And the big one, I didn’t like Ethan very much. He claimed so much not to fit in, even though he perfectly fit in, but also should have been shunned by all given how close-minded the people in his town are. And even though this technically isn’t an insta-love story, it’s pretty close to it.
Overall, though, I liked it. There is a lot of magical elements mixed into the ordinary world of Gatlin, and a lot of secrets kept from its citizens. Flashbacks, casting, telepathy, familiars, secret locations, magic items, and more. There are a lot of familiar things in the story, without it being too predictable. Although the cheesy teen romance with the sappy boyfriend didn’t do anything for me, the plot had enough magical mystery to keep me going.