When sixteen-year-old Faye arrives at Holbrook Academy, she doesn't expect to find herself exactly where she needs to be. After years of strange waking visions and nightmares, her only comfort the bones of dead animals, Faye is afraid she's going crazy. Fast.
But her first night at Holbrook, she feels strangely connected to the school and the island it sits on, like she's come home. She's even made her first real friends, but odd things keep happening to them. Every morning they wake on the floors of their dorm rooms with their hands stained red.
Faye knows she's the reason, but what does it all mean? The handsome Kel tries to help her unravel the mystery, but Faye is certain she can't trust him; in fact, he may be trying to kill her - and the rest of the world too.
Look at this cover!! Being honest with you all, I bought this book for the pretty cover. I had heard so many mixed reviews I wasn't sure how the book was going to go for me but I knew I needed this gorgeous piece of literature on my shelf. Upon its arrival I couldn't stop looking at it and feeling it (has a unique texture). Finally I decided I was just going to dive in and really even through some moments of confusion, I seriously had a hard time putting it down. Even when the end comes and gets all intense and I am completely thrown here and there I just can't let it go!!
Although it isn't focused right on it this is a dystopian book and has a very likely outline of a future. Faye lives in a world where food, fresh water and petrol are distributed and bartered for. Life is hard and people expect you to be what they want you to be, meaning be normal or be gone. So Faye is an outsider even in her Cooperative. Her visions and nightmares that feel so much more real than anyone understands make her different and that's why she ends up at Holbrook. They claim that they can help her so that she can be normal and go back to her cooperative.
"Fear is an illusion. I'm in control of my own reality." - Faye
Faye is unique and as a character I really enjoyed reading about her. She is dealing with a lot and comes off extremely believable. When she gets to Holbrook she expects to be a loner and for it to be no different than when she was at home where people avoided on her or picked on her but it isn't like that. She is put with a group of other kids that have all been put there for reasons unknown to her but they are to be her new family. When things start happening and she feels she knows what is going on instead of sharing it with everyone she keeps it to herself. This is where I felt the strongest towards her. She wanted to share but was afraid that everyone would think she was crazy, so she just keeps on trying to figure it out and help her new friends.
"The answers teased at me. Dangerous and exhilarating. Even though I
was scared, I needed to understand." - Faye
Upon some reflection I find that despite me draw to Kel and all the mystery that surrounded him I really liked Damion. You don't get much background on him to start but I love his silence and determination. I found it a bit irritating that he did it even when he didn't believe in it but you do find out why later on. Basically all of the people in the group "family" all have their own little background but they all brought something fun and unique to the table in this story. Kel however was at the center of it like Faye. He always seems to be where she is and seems to be hiding something from her, which totally makes me suspicious of him.
"I followed you. All I wanted was to catch up with you so I could talk
to you again." - Kel
There were moments that I felt lost as I read this book but not because of how it was written but more like I thought I had it all figured out only to be thrown another way. Although I found it frustrating at times it really makes you want to keep reading. It's like the cliffhanger at the end of a book that has you needing the next book but only it has you needing to know how it all ends. The last 100 pages will literally have you attached and it will take a serious amount of will power to put it down!
Sarah Wilson Etienne has created a unique and absolutely gripping story. I was really impressed with how everything ended and it was not even close to how I thought it would all go down. I found that the entire book which is based in a weeks time has a good pace even if it does go a little fast in the end. I am happy with my choice to pick up this book and am only sad that there is not more to wait for. Being a standalone, even with a good ending this book will have you craving more or Sara's writing. If she releases anything else I would not hesitate to pick it up!!!