Source: ALA 2011
I received this book for free from ALA 2011 in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Reading from my ARC only almost a year after I got it. I always feel a bit weird about that but what can I say I’m poor and I plan to give the authors business in the future.
Keri plans for everything. She had a plan the first time she broke her arm. Except she never planned for her brother’s suicide, but what if it wasn’t a suicide? Janna and Sione’s older brothers supposedly killed themselves and they aren’t the only ones, there is a pattern too obvious to ignore. Is there a serial killer targeting young men who spend New Years in Summerton?
I really enjoyed this, the post is just so late because I’m lazy. Healey is good at making a cast diverse without resorting to “I will make a character of each color” or “I will make this character Different and spend forever explaining how this makes them feel.” It is not about their diversity but rather here are these teens, you sympathize with them, you realize they have a secret or just something special about them but it doesn’t change who they are. Like much YA the parents take a back seat but they are not completely absent. You get an idea of how they are affected and how they feel. These protagonists are not orphans, Janna has younger siblings, and their families have already lost someone and it raises the stakes.
I don’t want to give spoilers but the Library of Congress subject headings listed in the final version of the book do include Supernatural – Fiction, so it’s not a spoiler as long as I don’t go to far. There is magic. It is subtle and even knowing it would be there it almost surprised me. It is hard to pin down. There is the point that not all magic is equal. People see it differently, use it differently, invoke different spirits. Some believe there is dark and light but where do you draw the line, or is it all the same in the end? (Really though I have an MLIS and I spend a decent amount of time chuckling at the often times terribly skewed summaries and subject headings.) Once again, Healey (or her editor or whoever) gets a title bravo for the intriguing, not too confusing, oh I get it at the end! Also Healey is really good at making me unsure of who to trust.