In the small town Gatlin, South Carolina everything stays the same. The families that live there have always lived there, and the social ladder is set in stone. Sixteen year old Ethan Wate can’t wait to get away – just as soon as he graduates high school. He wants a change. Lately, though, he has been having these dreams involving a very beautiful girl… a girl he’s never met or seen before, but a girl that he begins to worry and almost obsess over. So when the girl of his dreams literally walks into his high school, he doesn’t know what to do. And then things start to get strange, even dangerous. This girl opens up a whole new world to him – a world that has always existed in what he thought was just a sleepy little town in the South.
I always loved the cover(s) to this novel and the others that follow in the series, but I was always a little hesitant. I’m not sure why, exactly, but I was. Then the movie came out earlier this year, and people started talking about it again. So I thought I’d give it a shot (what the hell, right?) and then check out the movie. Well……
Let me start with what I liked – I did like that this was told from a male point of view. I thought that was fun and a little unexpected. But, I don’t know how “male” this narration really was. I don’t know that I ever really bought into it completely. I also liked that this was set in the South, though a lot of what made it seem like the south was pretty cliched. I do enjoy history too, and I found the historical connections and flashbacks to the Civil War were interesting. This was also an interesting paranormal world that the authors created. Can I say ‘interesting’ some more? It is such a boring and nondescript word, and exactly what this book has brought out in me.
But oh my goodness, this book is just way too long! The book starts out very jumbled and is confusing almost for the sake of being confusing and thinking it is making mystery. Just about every chapter recounts what happened in the chapters before it and it really makes everything feel sooo slooow. Then there would be a reference to something else from earlier in the book that you are supposed to remember and I really found myself not caring. I never understood the “love” between Ethan and Lena and didn’t really feel like it developed in any way – it just all of a sudden was. Because of the dreams? Because of the other experiences they ended up sharing? I really didn’t feel like I got to know Lena very much at all. Combine that with a plot that moves at a snails pace and I was mostly just bored through the whole thing. And I did read the whole thing – even though I really wanted to put it down forever by page 300 or so – I kept going just in case something fantastic happened in the end. I mean, I just don’t get how or why so many people are so nuts over these books? Is it like The Mortal Instruments series where the writing gets better as the series goes on? I don’t know, but I don’t even think I care at this point. I’m just going to try not to think about all the books I could have read instead of slogging through this one.
by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Little, Brown Company, 2010
Series: Caster Chronicles #1
Source: Purchased New
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