Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 14th, 2017
A girl discovers a family secret and a past full of magic that could both save her and put her in mortal danger in this suspenseful novel that’s perfect for fans of Katie Alender and Natasha Preston.My thoughts:
All sixteen-year-old Heather MacNair wants is to feel normal, to shed the intense paranoia she’s worn all year like a scratchy sweater. After her compulsion to self-harm came to light, Heather was kept under her doctor’s watchful eye. Her family thinks she’s better—and there’s nothing she wants more than for that to be true. She still can’t believe she’s allowed to spend her summer vacation as she always does: at her aunt’s home in Scotland, where she has lots of happy memories. Far away from all her problems save one: she can’t stop carving the Celtic knot that haunts her dreams into her skin.
Good friends and boys with Scottish accents can cure almost anything…except nightmares. Heather can’t stop dreaming about two sisters from centuries ago, twins Prudence and Primrose, who somehow seem tied to her own life. Their presence lurks just beneath the surface of her consciousness, sending ripples through what should be a peaceful summer. The twins might hold the key to putting Heather’s soul at rest…or they could slice her future deeper than any knife.
As much as I want to love this this I just can't. I've been sitting here for about 10 minutes trying to figure out my thoughts and they all just lead me to I didn't like it.
The story was so intriguing and there were parts I truly loved. Heather, our main character, has been cutting herself and having just returned from a stay at a Wellness Clinic she travels across the sea to visit her Aunt Abbie in Scotland. Her parents aren't thrilled, but she swears she's better and convinces them to let her go. She goes every summer so she already has a group of friends waiting for her. Sounds more like a contemporary novel right...well what we don't know from the beginning is that there is a reason for Heather cutting herself and what she cuts into her skin has a far deeper meaning than Heather thought.
Okay so my description isn't really spooky, but the author does a great job at filling in the spooky and I liked it. The story flips back and forth from Heather's POV to two sisters Primrose and Prudence who lived in the 1600's. Their story is filled with witchcraft and it isn't a pretty one because during that time witches were executed and the two sisters didn't exactly get along so there was tension even in their house. I liked this part and I wanted so much more, but the author didn't really get down to the whole witch storyline until to late in the story. There was so much build up and at 90% in the story I knew the author was going to rush and she did. It really killed the whole story for me. I wish she would have given herself an extra 100 pages because I think the story could have been fantastic with those extra pages. She could have spent so much more time with Heather's grandma and the whole coven plot line. As it stands though once the meat of the story finally happens it's all over in the blink of an eye.
And the ending was very problematic for me. I won't spoil anything, but in a certain scene I could feel the author going "hmm only have 10 pages left, better wrap this up quickly". It was such a disappointment and not believable in the slightest. I know it's witches and that's not believable ( well for some it is so please don't take offense) much either, but the ending was just ridiculous and too nice. I expected more wickedness from all parties involved.
I also hated the romance. I've been trying to lighten up my thinking on romances lately because I know I can be pretty harsh and they usually aren't my cup of tea, but this one was just horrible. Heather has been in love with Allistair, Robby's brother forever and never even looked at Robby. Well the first summer that Allistair is gone she all of a sudden sees what I great guy Robby is and wants to date him. Oh and Robby has grown up and gotten cuter, that helped her decision too. What a bunch of bull! Robby we know has been in love with Heather forever, but knew she pined for his brother so kept his feelings to himself. Well like I said the brother is at college with his girlfriend so Robby decides to finally speak up. Now them getting together wouldn't have bothered me if they had a conversation about her liking his brother and what her feelings were at this moment and if she had always thought he was somewhat cute. It really bugs me that they just left so much unsaid and that made their whole relationship feel false and strained. I didn't like it and I didn't buy it. I would have preferred there to be no romance or maybe she could have gravitated towards Fiona, her single friend. That would have been so much better.
I also didn't like Aunt Abbie. Heather had issues and nobody knew these issues tied into witchcraft so Heather should have been watched more. I get giving a teenager space, but she just got back from a hospital and you are going to let her run around unsupervised?? Oh and lie to her parents! Talk about being a complete waste of a character. And her whole story line bothered me. I again would have preferred a different set of actions. Maybe Heather could have went to Scotland for school? That would have at least given her reasons for not being supervised. All Aunt Abbie did was give Heather room to cut herself and get her friend almost killed.
So these were my main problems with the book. I had a few other ones, but these were my main gripes and as you can see they were pretty big areas of the book that I had problems with. The story could have been so good and with the market lacking in witches these this really could have been a hit. As it stands though this is a very forgettable book filled with way too many plot problems for me.