There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything (goodreads).
Lena Duchannes comes to town and she is judged and she is judged harshly. It isn't until Ethan begins to get close to her does he understand the secrets she is hiding, and the secrets that even his loved ones have been hiding from him.
So Lena is the girl of Ethan's dreams, literally. For this reason he is desperate to get close to her but she is desperate to keep a healthy distance from everyone. Ethan ultimately wins this tug-of-war and the two start and unlikely romance. And the authors will not let you forget about their romance. Ever. Their love for each other overpowered any story that this book may have had. We have school days where Lena is either pranking other students or being pranked. We have days where Ethan contemplates his love for Lena for hours on end. I really could have dealt with half of that and twice the plot. Because of the focus on these two teen's eternal love for each other, the plot seemed to drag.
While I was reading this I couldn't help but think, "boy, I like all of the characters except for Ethan and Lena. " Ethan was entirely too love struck and Lena was too hopeless. I mean, what guy says, "she's so pretty it hurts." No, what PERSON says that? When I read that line I had to pause, read it again, and forced my boyfriend to read the same line to see if he had the same reaction (and he did). Lena's family is interesting, Ethan's family is interesting (especially his father) but two teens who come from the most interesting families in their small town are the most boring and two dimensional characters ever.
This book is told from Ethan's point of view and it is littered with idealistic fantasies about a girl, questioning about a girl, and then some interest in his own family history. This book does not read like it is from a high school boy's point of view. I understand that it's always hard to write from a different gender perspective, but I really feel like some more research could have been put into it. Ethan's voice reads like a love sick 12 year old girl who respects her elders.
While I did really enjoy all of the secondary characters, they weren't strong enough to hold my interest. I doubt that I will continue this series but the movie does look promising! Have you seen the trailer yet?