Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.
But all that changes when the Lynburns return.
The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?
I think one of my status updates for this novel was:
“If you don’t like this novel, I don’t think we can be friends.”
That’s how much I liked it when I started it. I haven’t read anything by Brennan before so I didn’t know what to expect from the novel but the synopsis was so quirky, I decided to request it from Net Galley and did a victory dance when I got approved for it. Anyway, this book has some of the most awesome characterizations I have read for a very, very long time. The characterization and writing style is reminiscent of the much lauded (and loved) Jaclyn Moriarty – in fact, I could have sworn I was reading one of her books had I not been aware I wasn’t.
Kami is such a fun character as are her friends and both the love interest and the non-love-interest-but-something-more-than-love-interest character. I love how Brennan gave them all very distinct voices and characters and I love the added absurdism that is present aplenty in the novel. Their dialogues and their wit is of the variety that will make you chuckle out loud and then reread the piece appreciatively.
The writing made me very happy with its smoothness and the plot and pacing were definitely moving in the right direction. I also understood the major conflict in the novel. About being an individual when you don’t even know what it means and for the record, I think Kami’s decision, though not a happy one, was the right one. With all this said, however, I feel like I must talk at least a bit about the latter part of the novel and how it somehow lost me. I understand what happened. I just don’t know why it happened or why it happened so abruptly. I wasn’t exactly surprised by the twist but I felt that Brennan, after devoting so much time to creating these characters, very abruptly, told us that this is how they were and that’s the way the cookie is going to crumble. Kami’s character too undergoes an almost radical change and Jared becomes someone I don’t even know at the end. I don’t like where she ended and how she ended and I wish I had the second and third books already so I can find out what happens next and why.
Do I recommend it to you? Hell yeah. It’s too good not to read but just read it with the knowledge that the endinging is somewhat iffy. And will probably make you scowl but the journey to the ending is full of laughter and just plain awesomesauciness. So go, read it!