Release Date: July 26, 2011
Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.
There were a lot of things I liked about this book. Even though it was rather violent, it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout most of the book.
The book opens with Ashline ("Ash") picking a fight with the girl her boyfriend cheated with. Eve-Ashline's sister-shows up, everything escalates, and Ash ends up across the country at a prep school in hopes to escape the path of destruction Eve leaves behind her. From there it's pretty much action-packed until the very last page.
The author of this book is male, which I could definitely detect in the writing style--especially since it was written from a female (albeit a very hardcore female) point of view. Mostly it didn't bother me, but some parts of the book I was thinking, No girl would ever really say/do that. There weren't very many of those moments though.
I have to say, when I read the last page or two of this book, I had a mixed reaction. I don't know whether to be confused or furious or just plain shocked. I'm not really sure what happened, but there was a MAJOR twist at the very end (Don't you DARE cheat and read ahead--it would ruin the entire book. I kid you not.) that I never in a million years expected. It makes me want to know what's going to happen next. Like, right now. I have a serious love-hate relationship with books like these. Argh.
There has been a bit of a theme with YA books this year that I've noticed-- there have been a lot of god/goddess books lately, which I absolutely love. And while this fell into that category, it definitely had an original spin on the idea. Most books I've read about mythology have been about Greek gods and goddesses. This book had all different kinds--ranging from a Polynesian goddess to a Norse god. Although there were many loose ends by the final page, I loved the general, original storyline.
Like I said, this book was quite violent. So if that bothers you at all, this is not the story for you. It also had some language and some sexual references. Even with all that, I still can't wait to read the next one. The only thing that was overly distracting to me was the violence, but when there's war, it's bound to get ugly, right?
If you think you can handle it, add this to your list of books to read. It's not one to miss!
*I received this egalley from the publisher for the purpose of review.