I admit that, like most books, I wanted this one mostly because of the pretty cover (earlier today, I was wishing that I had great graphic design skills so that I could help some of the authors who have good books hiding behind terrible covers), and I was thrilled to discover that I really enjoyed the book.
The first book in an exciting YA trilogy, this is the story of two best friends on the verge of a terrifying divide when they begin to encounter a cast of strange and mythical characters.
Set against the lush, magical backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, two inseparable best friends who have grown up like sisters—the charismatic, mercurial, and beautiful Aurora and the devoted, soulful, watchful narrator—find their bond challenged for the first time ever when a mysterious and gifted musician named Jack comes between them. Suddenly, each girl must decide what matters most: friendship, or love. What both girls don’t know is that the stakes are even higher than either of them could have imagined. They’re not the only ones who have noticed Jack’s gift; his music has awakened an ancient evil—and a world both above and below which may not be mythical at all. The real and the mystical; the romantic and the heartbreaking all begin to swirl together, carrying the two on journey that is both enthralling and terrifying.
And it’s up to the narrator to protect the people she loves—if she can.
One of the things I loved about this book was that at least 75% of it wasn't at all your average supernatural books. The main character, the unnamed narrator, is an artist, a painter, and because of this, the book has wonderfully detailed descriptions of everything. In some books I find that annoying, but in this book it works rather perfectly to create a detailed world with the narrator and her best friend, Aurora. Aurora is described as light and pretty, whereas the narrator describes herself as dark and moody - "I know how to see beauty in other things, but I have never taken much time to see any beauty in myself."
Other favorite lines (there are a LOT of them, so just a few here):
"Aurora breaks hearts, and I paint pictures. We are both pretty good at what we do."
"Aurora never thinks about what comes after; she's all now, all the time. This moment, this kiss, this second holds everything."
"...and for a moment I can see the possibility of my entire life, the story waiting to be written."
So, basically, two thumbs way up. Supernatural without being in your face about it. Beautiful descriptions - I could picture so much of this book, and feel so much of it.
This is the first NetGalley ARC I've received for which I'll be buying a physical copy of the book.
eta: I forgot to include a link to Sarah's website! And her birthday was yesterday. Happy Birthday to a fellow Sarah M.! If I still lived in Brooklyn, I'd make you cupcakes.