Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Ten years ago, Lorelei’s parents disappeared without a trace. Raised by her grandparents and leaning on the support of her best friends, Lorelei is finally beginning to accept the fact that her parents are never coming home. For Lorelei, life goes on.
High school is not quite as painful as she thinks it will be, and things are as normal as they can be. Until the day the school’s designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it, standing outside her house in the dark, night after night. Things get even more complicated when a new guy—terrifying, tough, sexy Jared Kovach—comes to school. Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity. What does Jared know about her parents? Why does Cameron tell Jared he can’t have Lorelei? And what will any of them do when Death comes knocking for real?
As I learned so recently, sometimes my final feelings about a book boil down to expectations, expectations, expectations. I’ve been a big Darynda Jones fan from the first chapter of her first Charley Davidson book (Cait outdoes me in her fangurldom though), so Darynda + YA = hell, yeah! What I love most about that series is the humor, character growth and complexity of the storylines. So, in other words, everything. It was unreasonable of me to hand her that list of expectations for an entirely new category and series.
Sixteen-year-old Lorelei isn’t your normal girl. When she touches people, she gets visions – past, present or future sometimes. She’s also the only one who was found after her parents took her on a drive into the New Mexico desert ten years ago. Lorelei has no memory at all about what may have happened and her parents are just…gone. To help her get through the ache of their absence, during the two weeks surrounding the anniversary of their disappearance each year, Lorelei’s best friends Brooklyn and Glitch have always stuck to her side like glue.
It’s that time of year again, and the three teens are hanging out at their favorite coffee shop. Lorelei briefly brushes up against someone in a hallway there, just enough to touch him and get a glimpse of his gorgeous face and a vision of him fighting a monster. Inexplicably, the school’s abrasive loner Cameron starts stalking Lorelei afterwards, sitting outside of her house at night and following her everywhere. When the gorgeous stranger shows up in the flesh at school with a bizarre cover story and obvious interest in Lorelei, Cameron is murderous. She really likes Jared, can’t figure out what Cameron’s issue is with him and definitely isn’t going to stay away from him just because he says he’s dangerous.
Everyone can put away their anti-itch cream because I swear, there’s no love triangle! Lorelei may be the thing between Cameron and Jared but it’s not romantic, it’s a paranormal thing. Jones is back on familiar ground here with another Reaper series but there are things about it so far that just didn’t work for me. I came away with the feeling that the supernatural parts of the plot struggled to remain YA-relatable and the pacing of the book was left rocky.
Where Jones excels is with some of her main characters, their relationships and the humor. I adored Lorelei, all five feet nothing of her. She was so funny with her friends that from their first conversation, I had no trouble believing that they’d been together teasing and loving each other for years. Lorelei is quirky, spunky, stubborn and afraid to lie because her grandpa’s a preacher – how could you not love her? Her friends are much the same. Brooklyn is a tougher, more outspoken version of Lorelei and Glitch is a smart geeky snarky guy who’s comfortable being a smart geeky snarky guy who’s five foot three.
I wasn’t so much in love with the guys or the romance angle with Lorelei and Jared because both felt pretty shallow. Most of what I knew about Jared involved his muscles, sculpted lips and muscles. Cameron was a grouchy S.O.B. with a perfected death glare and that’s pretty much all I know about him. The two are very strong and beat the crap out of each other a lot too. There’s some insta-love-lust-obsession-something going on with Jared and Lorelei. I don’t even know what to call it but I didn’t like it because it didn’t feel natural at all from either of them. I hope something less superficial develops.
My Summary: I’m not going to give up on this series. I think a lot of bumpy ground-breaking took place, the next book should be smoother and with the relationships between all of the characters having begun to be set in place, the story can really find a place to go. I’m not completely convinced that YA is the best place for Darynda Jones, but her writing is good enough that I’m happy to read along for a while to see.