Author: R.A. Nelson
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: November 2007
Plot - 17/20
Characters - 20/20
Writing - 18/20
Originality - 18/20
Entertainment - 10/10
Recommendation - 10/10
Summary: Life should be sweet for Frances Robinson. She has a quirky best friend, lives in a McMansion with a loving, adopted family, and has just met a dreamy new guy from Louisiana, Nix, as charming and exotic as evening on the bayou.
So why is she terrified of ambulances screaming by in the night? And what makes her so uneasy about the coming of spring?
Frances has a secret-the most terrifying secret in the world. A secret that has haunted her for eleven years: her birth mother, Afton Jelks.
Afton is the mother who laughed, sang, and made up stories for Frances and her three sisters when they lived in Fireless, a place of mystery and imagination. A place where Afton led them deeper and deeper into darkness, until one horrific morning in April when Fireless overtook the real world, and Afton committed an unspeakable act.
Now Afton is back, and Frances' secret horror threatens to rip her happy world apart all over again. She sees one chance to regain her life: confront the monster in its lair and find peace-or die trying. She and Nix embark on a desperate clandestine journey that will become the most dangerous quest of her life when she discovers just what it means to finish.Review:
This book caught me in the instant I realized how different this novel was going to be from what I expected. Which was early on. The first chapter was so raw with emotion, but the type and the feeling you first get from it will surprise you. This novel was really mind-blowing. I kind of part the novel into two sections. The part where she meets Nix, and the part where she goes on the road trip to see her mother.
But . . . first I have to say how much I loved Nix as a character. Just his name sounds cool. It's not his looks or whatever that I love about him, it's his personality and hospitality he has. He's crazy funny, and having this book set in the way south in Alabama and Nix being from Louisiana just makes it even more interesting. You'll see why when you read this novel.
The characters are definitely the most real part of the book and the most part R.A. Nelson succeeds in. Frances is the type of girl who is quiet and she's just doesn't really feel safe and complete in her new household. Even if she doesn't admit it. Her relationship with Nix is so fresh and interesting, unlike the novels out there with the happy-go-lucky and love-at-first site love, this is real and raw. The characters were very three-dimensional and honest.
R.A. Nelson is a genius writer. He's just incredible with words and he really shine's through with the writing in this book. The ending was so unpredictable ***SEMI-SPOILER*** And it really, really surprised me, I'm only labeling this as a semi-spoiler because if you haven't read this book I really want you to be surprised about what happens instead of expecting it. ***END-OF-SPOILER***So the ending is great and very good and unique.
This novel is a five-star one. Very, highlyhighlyhighly recommended. Nelson's other novel, Teach Me, is one I've heard of, but never really looked into but now that I've read this, I looked at it and it looks extremely good, like this novel, so I'll probably look for that one soon. Just, you know, look out for this author, he's one to look out for, trust me.