I was expecting fireworks to spontaneously blast out of this book when I opened it-that's the impression I got after reading so many amazing reviews about it! Sadly, nothing of the sort happened.
All I saw in this book was the same old story that been fleshed out sixty million times since Twilight came out. Boy and Girl meet. They instantly fall madly for each other. But it is not to be-because a) the girl b) the boy c) both boy and girl are magically talented/and or a fantastical creature and they must battle their way through many horrible trials before they can enjoy their happily ever after, or, in the case of this book, leave the door open for even more of the above.
Both Ethan and Lena felt horribly unreal to me. A sixteen-year-old boy spends the weekends with his ninety year old aunts and then goes to church with them? That, my friends, would only be accomplished by a saint. And Lena-think the most angsty teenager you've ever met in ugly costumes and Converse, and you've got her. All the other characters were disgustingly stereotypical, from Amma (the cook/voodoo priestess), Macon, the gloriously eccentric vampire-oops, I mean Incubus (Which last time I checked means something way different than it does in this book)and ultimately martyred uncle, to Marian the Librarian **closing eyes and rubbing forehead**.
Which brings me to another thing-what's up with these names-Mrs. English, the English teacher? What?!?! Did I miss an inside joke?
The plot was extreeeeeemely slow-paced, repetitive, and angsty ("No, Ethan, I'm bad. You shouldn't be with me..." "I don't care, Lena..." Repeat. Hmmmm. Sound familiar to anyone else? Normally this stuff doesn't bug me but when it's THIS BLATENT, I have to say something).
So, all in all, I would recommend skipping this one over for a paranormal Southern YA novel that I think was unfairly passed over; "The Splendor Falls" which has lots more atmosphere and fun, in my opinion.