There is a lot predictable about this paranormal YA coming of age book; a lot that is creative; and lot that is funny – intentionally.
When Vane Weston was seven, he lost his parents in a category five tornado in Nebraska. He miraculously and inexplicably survived, but with little memory of what happened. He can only remember the face of a girl, and that girl has been appearing to him in his dreams ever since.
Now Vane is seventeen, living in “the hottest freaking place on the planet” in California’s Coachella Valley, where his adoptive parents took him when he was eight. Suddenly, on yet another abortive attempt at a date, he sees the girl “of his dreams” and everything changes, including Vane’s understanding of who he really is.
The power of a kiss (as opposed to, say, way more than that)
Sense of humor of the author – both overt and subtle
Creativity – it’s nice to see paranormal characters who aren’t angels, devils, werewolves, vampires, necromancers, harbingers, witches, faeries, and the like, but rather something a bit more original.
Plodding predictability of boy-girl romance.
The evil character (Arella) is too cardboardy.
Popular culture or product placement? The Cheesecake Factory, McDonald’s, and In-N-Out Burgers are probably sending the author royalties as we speak. Especially In-N-Out Burgers: imagine the power of these burgers if they can break the willpower of someone who hasn’t eaten in ten years!
Evaluation: This is book one of a trilogy (of course) but I probably won’t be returning to the series. It has its good points, but for me, it doesn’t really measure up to the competition enough for my limited reading time. I recommend it, however, for tweens, and parents looking for some “cleaner” paranormal coming of age materials.
Published by Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 2013
Playlist: What else?