In the town of Dunlowe, being different can be deadly. No one knows this better than the seven girls born on the exact same day, at the exact same time. From birth, they've been feared, judged, and controlled. And yet, still loved by their families. Still hoping for a future. Still believing that acceptance would one day come. As their seventeenth birthday approaches, events occur that leave Cecily Daye and the other girls grasping with the possibility that their oppressors might have been right about them all along. Maybe they are as evil as the town has believed. But without an answer, they must make a choice when the town turns on them: to die or to run to the one place no person would follow—they must enter The Wild Wood.
Release Date: June 29, 2012
Published By: Young Mountain Publishing
Review Copy: Paperback, 297 pages
*received for honest review
This book is so much more than a pretty and attractive cover. Wonderfully written and with such attention to detail, this novel completely surprised me from start to finish. The evolution of the story, characters and the world that you are introduced to is unique and delightful.
Cecily Daye is a good girl. She follows the rules and tries her best to remain outside of the towns and Reverends attention but it's not always that simple. Marked as evil from her birth along with six other girls born on the same day at the same time, has made all of their lives hard but with their seventeenth birthdays approaching, life is becoming more difficult. I found myself holding my breath on the day and even more so when Cecily looses someone close to her on that very night. This is a turning point and there was no going back and no avoiding The Wild Wood that they had been taught to fear.
With her desire to protect her family and also dreams of actually living Cecily is a great character. Though she did come off as compliant a few times to start I got it because anything she did not only came down to her "inner evil" but it was taken out on her mother as well. Thing is when the day came Cecily had no problem stepping up and taking hold of the potential that was hers for the taking. Her character really developed throughout the novel and developed into someone that was willing to do what was needed and make a sacrifice for what was right.
Though Cecily is the main focus the other girls are not to be overlooked. Morgan, Stephanie, Abigail, Charity, Amanda and Millie each had their own personality and spot in the seven. The two that stood out the most for me were Morgan and Stephanie. Morgan from first mention had my attention. The girl is calm collected and seems to know more than she lets on but she has also lost more than any other seven... Her entire family. Stephanie is the opposite and has more than any seven coming from a prestigious family and always seems to hold her head high and even speaks her mind. Though these two stood out more for me I think each girl is important and different people may connect with different characters.
Julie has my attention and I was surprised to learn that more people haven't had their attention grabbed by this talented indie. With a riveting story, creative/individual characters and a fast pace I have no doubt that this book will pick up speed and recognition in no time. I'm looking forward to picking up the second book in this series The Downs and only postponed it to write the review and fully absorb the first book.
"Cecily, lightnen up. You kissed a boy--you dudnt cause an earthquake or sacrifice a goat.""I didn't," I said, while giving him the smile he wanted. "But you know those goats have it coming."
I nodded. He believed in me. The last he needed was for me to doubt myself, especially while walking into the place where I would always be doubted.
The grass I walked on was trimmed, the goats tended--they kept looking at me, maybe sensing I was a goat destroyer these days--and after wandering into the shadowy barn, the horses proved happy and well fed.
"How is it possible for beings who kill so much to know anything about love? I know from their grief that the population of Darienne must love, but I dont understand how any person can do both at the same time."