Author: Bree Despain
Release Date: December 22nd, 2009
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 5 Stars
Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held. The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes. The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I read this book. I read the back and decided not to read the reviews so not to get any spoilers of what might be in it and I was really happy that I did that. The mystery that surrounds the whole book kept me going from page one. And after I finished I went and checked out the reviews and I was happy to see that a lot of people had the same thought I had: This book was amazing.
The idea of mixing religion with the supernatural was something I was afraid would come back to haunt Despain when it came to the readers, but I thought she did an excellent job in throwing everything together and making it fit. From the character's name to the plot-line the way religion had the chance to connect with the premise of the story fit perfectly.
And then there are the characters. They felt very real to me; I loved how I was able to connect with them easily. I also loved how all the character's had a specific personality that stuck out. Some character's I just wanted to hit, like April. She had good intentions, but I just could not stand her. But I guess that's what makes this book good -- the author gives readers characters to dislike, for one reason or another.
Daniel was such a mystery. I was getting frustrated with Grace as she tried to break the ice that surrounded him and I liked when things started to come clear. Jude was very frustrating and I started to understand him a little, but I like how Despain was able to bring out Jude throughout the book.
I was surprised by the supernatural element in here and I could not have imagined it, but I was super excited about how it all fit together and I'm glad that Despain didn't flat out say what it was and just kept the reader with Grace at discovering the truth.
This book was amazing; it didn't go too fast and it didn't go too slow. All the character's served a purpose, they were not just brought in for no particular reason and I was really happy with the way Despain had used that to her advantage by giving readers the chance to know the characters.
I would highly suggest this book and I am excited to read the sequel!