Author: Cat Hellisen
Series: Stand Alone
Published: February 28th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Source: Around The World Tours
Description: After seventeen-year-old Felicita’s dearest friend Ilven kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven's death has called out of the sea a dangerous wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg's caste system, and the whole city along with it.
I Give This ...
I don't mind fantasy. In fact, I usually really like it. But, every once in awhile I come across a book that just seems so far out there that it's hard for me to enjoy. I think this was one of those.
The basic story line, I think I would have enjoyed. Rich girl fakes death to avoid arranged marriage (not to mention horrible brother and checked-out mom). I liked the idea of her living and working with people far below her station. It's was also interesting to watch her battle with the idea that life on the other side. She's debates several times about swallowing her pride and dealing with everything just to have the comforts of home (and the rich life). I actually really liked Felicity for all that she goes through in this book.
What really fell flat for me was the paranormal/fantasy aspect of this novel. I understood the superstitions but thought it should be something that stayed in the background. The sea witch that's brought to life was just too much. But, I guess you can't have vampires (loved that Felicity called them bats) etc, without other paranormal elements. That storyline was also a little hard to follow.
I also had a hard time with Dash. I wanted to like him, but something about him just didn't sit well with me. I'm glad I never did because there was a reasoning behind that feeling. I also thought the book was a little heavy in reference to drugs and sex. For a young adult book, it seems to be tossed around very nonchalantly. I don't mind it usually, but it bothered me in this one.
So, in the end I was left with very mixed feelings. It wasn't what I had hoped it would be.