Author: Kresley Cole
Genre: YA post-apocalypse/romance
Pages: Hardback, 369
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, October 2, 12012
Opening Lines: "She's so lovely, so fragile. Those haunted eyes. Those rosebud lips . . . they'll scream so prettily."
"Sixteen-year-old Evangeline "Evie" Greene heads a charmed life—until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations are actually visions of the future—and the visions are still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate, Jackson Deveaux.
"With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can't totally trust Jack. But if he ever casts that wicked grin her way, can she possibly resist him?
"As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have received the same call. An ancient prophecy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it's not always clear who is on which side . . ."
After reading Sarah's review, I couldn't get this book out of my head! The whole concept seemed intriguing. As with most books I want to read, our local library didn't have it. So, as usual, I had to put in an ILL request. And, once I was able to start reading it, I couldn't put the damn thing down!
Finally home after a summer-long stint in a juvenile mental institution, Evangeline "Evie" is looking forward to starting school and returning to a normal life. She is eager to put the nightmares and weird hallucinations behind her, with the help of doctors, therapy, and medication. However, just even everything seems to be starting to return to normal, her nightmares come back, strange visions haunt her in the middle of class, and the newest student, Jackson Deveaux, has caught her attention.
While still trying to determine what is true and keep her head down, the unthinkable happens: the sun's rays blast the earth, killing most of the population, plant life, and evaporating the water sources. And that's when Evie realizes that her hallucinations were really premonitions of this horrible apocalyptic event and a coming battle.
In an effort to find the information locked in her brain after being institutionalized, Evie goes on a cross-country trek to find her grandmother. Along with the help of Jackson and three other people, Evie will encounter some strange things that will shake the bedrock of what she's always known.
When I started this book, I wasn't even sure what to expect. Aside from the apocalypse theme, some of the other elements took me by surprise. Granted, after reading a the review that brought this book to my attention, I fully expected the tarot element; however, it goes way beyond that. I felt that Cole did a good job trying to imagine what it would truly be like if the tarot did start coming to life, or was, in fact, already here. In addition, she did a good job thinking about the impact that type of sun damage would have on the Earth and how people would react without law.
In general, I liked Evie okay. She seemed to react to her circumstances the way a normal girl would have. Even though she was fairly pampered, to me, that didn't really get in the way of her functioning. However, that could be due in part of her mother's role. That being said, I did find her rather dense and a little too vapid. Also, it seemed as though Cole was trying to hard to make her an approachable stereotype—popular, pretty, but not overly conceited.
From the moment he rode into the picture, I really liked Jackson. Yes, he is rather rough around the edges and a Byronic archetype, but he embodies every boy I loved as a teenager. Even though I am an adult now, it's still hard to escape those nostalgic feelings. Also, given his past, I felt he had a lot more depth than we are shown in the book. The Cole's dialect writing for the Cajun kids—Jackson in particular—was wonderful and added a different element to the story. Plus, I love me some good dialect ;)
It was neat to see Evie struggle with her role in the tarot and the coming battle. I liked seeing that internal struggle with what she wanted to be and what she had to be. However, her powers kept reminding me of Poison Ivy. Nonetheless, it was rather spiffy.
With the things she will have to do later on, the next books will definitely be tense and pose different issues. It makes me wonder if that's why the other characters weren't as fleshed out. Also, with how it ended, I really wonder how Evie will handle her changing role.
Normally, I don't like the typical YA romance with vapid heroines: however, this one really caught my attention. I love the whole aspect of the tarot coming to life, this ancient battle, and the apocalypse. Yes, there were a lot of things in the book that were extremely predictable, but it kept me on the edge of my seat. And, yes, I can see how the pre-apocalypse section of the book could be considered boring or useless. All of that being said, I really, really enjoyed this book! The imagery was beautiful, and I like the story. Now I am eagerly waiting to read the next book in the series! Kresley, please release it sooner than October!
Current Pages: 6748