My Thoughts: I was so unbelievably excited when I won this from a GoodReads First Reads giveaway. First, it was a debut author. Second, OH MY, that cover. Third, the premise sounded so interesting. I had a heck of a time waiting until 2011 so that this would count toward the 2011 Debut Author Challenge, but I jumped in as soon as I could.
Published: New American Library (March 1, 2011)
Source: I won this ARC from GoodReads First Reads program
GoodReads Summary: Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.
As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.
And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.
I hate to say it, but I was disappointed.
Theia definitely embraced the TSTL tendencies. I couldn't connect with her at all. In the first chapter, we find out that Theia a very introverted girl, well-mannered and raised by her exceedingly strict father. Who, by the way, is creepily referred to as Father throughout the book. I didn't know if he was supposed to be an enemy or a good guy. Anyway, once Theia starts dreaming about Mysterious Guy and he shows up at school in all his menacing glory, all hell breaks loose. This is definitely a case of showing instead of telling. I find it very hard to believe that Theia falls desperately in love with Haden after the lack of development in their "relationship." For example, she witnesses him having his hands all over practically any girl he can get his hands on, but because he's looking at her when he's getting his grope on, that makes her swoon. Additionally, when she finds out exactly what Haden is and that he would likely kill her in a moment, she gets all hot and bothered and wants to make out with him. I get that Theia is sheltered and hasn't had much experience with boys, but I would hope she'd have some sort of self-respect.
Haden, on the other hand, was intriguing at first. Not as a love interest, but as an anomaly. I couldn't put my finger on what he was and that amped up the suspense. It was genuinely creepy, the dangerous things that would happen when Haden got pissed off. Unfortunately, Haden's character could not keep my interest piqued. This love story quickly transformed into the "I love you." "You can't love me. It's not safe." "But I love you." "I shouldn't. I'll hurt you." I've grown so freaking weary of that kind of romance.
The plot, while intriguing at first, became a bit disjointed towards the end and I couldn't quite understand what was happening or why it was happening. I know that's entirely vague, but I cannot say too much about it without giving away a rather large portion of the plot... and Haden's TRUE IDENTITY.
I did enjoy some of the characters. Donny and Amelia had a healthy amount of personality and I love how Donny would always put Theia in her place. My favorite part about the entire book? Varnie, the hip surfer-dude/cross-dressing psychic woman. I'll admit I cracked a smile. I really, really wanted to enjoy this novel and I can imagine that people who aren't yet sick of the whole murderously dangerous guy/oblivious girl scene will gobble this up, but it just didn't work for me.
Perhaps I'll just stare at the cover a little while longer and all will be well.