This is not a good book. In fact it annoyed me on many levels. The first being the love story. I found absolutely no reason for these two people to be in love. I hate destined love stories, where people fall in love for no reason other then they are meant to, and this book is one of those. Luce and Daniel barely interact at all, but because they are meant to, and because Luce is the reincarnation of Daniel’s one true love the two of them fall in love and not just fall in love, are hopelessly madly deeply in love by the end of the book. So in love they can’t bear to be apart. And yet not even ten pages ago they were barely interacting. It’s lazy writing, love because of destiny rather then love because of interaction.
Then there’s the fact that Luce doesn’t do anything. She spends the climax running around and being tied up and then miraculously saved by her twu love. She’s pulled and yanked and lead all around but never does anything or goes anywhere of her own volition. Even when she supposedly makes a choice to tell the rival for her affections (of course there was one) that she doesn’t want to see him (because see he’s not a real rival, just someone to throw you off the scent of destined true love) she doesn’t really do anything. She never actually tells him to go to hell and leave her alone, someone comes along and rescues her right as she’s about to do so, but isn’t really because it’s to hard and mean to hurt somone’s feelings like that.
Luce also has no personality. She’s supposedly a reader, but when confronted with her first weekend at the boarding school with nothing to do; she mopes and wonders how to fill all those hours. I scoffed. Her list of favorite foods reads as a what’s what of southern foods- vegetarian flavor. She constantly complains about being a loner and how nobody at the school likes her, but she’s adopted right off the bat by one character and immediately has the most popular guy of the school looking for her affections, plus she becomes good friends with another character. All cries of friendlessness read as fake and are just annoying.
Then there’s the setting. There are ways to do gothic atmosphere that don’t require putting a swimming pool into an old abandoned church, or a school in an abandoned prison that’s right next to a Civil War era cemetery, but don’t forget the marshy wilderness. I strained my eyes rolling them every time a new description was presented. There are many ways to do southern gothic horror, and it seems as though the author tried to fit all of them, all at once, in this book.
The ending was rushed and hasty. Who is good and who is bad is telegraphed a mile away, which means when Luce makes a mistake about one of the characters you just want to bang your head against the wall rather then sympathize as she hates on a character. The love story is unbelievable, because we’re never given any reason Luce and Daniel might like each other, let alone love each other. The setting is over wrought and obvious like a two by four to the head.