Release date: October 28th, 2011
Sixteen year old Arelia LaRue lives in New Orleans where the music is loud, voodoo queens inhabit every street corner, and the ghosts are alive and well. Despite her surroundings, all she wants is to help her Grand-mere Bea pay the rent and save up for college.
When her best friend Sabrina convinces her to take a well-paying summer job at the infamous Darkwood plantation, owned by the wealthy LaPlante family, Arelia agrees.
However, at Darkwood strange things start to happen, and gorgeous Lucus LaPlante insists that he needs her help. Soon, the powers that Arelia has been denying all her life, come out to play and she discovers mysteries about herself that she could have never imagined.
Let’s start with Arelia, who has been hearing spirits her whole life. She’s taken a summer job at a plantation which appears to be filled with spirits and strange happenings. Arelia comes off as very immature for the most part of the book. She would overreact to the smallest things, as well as believe everything her jealous best friend told her (which we will get to in a bit). But then when it comes to voodoo, despite having heard spirits her whole life, she refuses to believe any of it. I could not, for the life of me, understand this girl. She lets herself get backstabbed by her best friend, lied to, then simply forgives her. This best friend, Sabrina, I despised her. She is the definition of spoiled, and a complete bitch. I didn’t understand why they were even friends. As for Lucus, the love interest, he was an ok character, but never really gave off any sort of charm. All in all, the whole cast was a big disappointment to me. I didn’t connect with any of them, nor did I understand their reactions to any of the events that happened in the book. They all seemed very stiff; unconvincing.
The plot started off really interesting with a good amount of mystery. I haven’t read many books based on voodoo so it was different. I liked learning about the lore, but unfortunately there wasn’t a lot of digging into it until the very end. I wish we had delved deeper into Arelia’s abilities. As soon as the plot starts getting more complex, the book ends; it felt unfinished.
The book is not awful, it does have promise. With some editing it could even be pretty good. But as is, I couldn’t get myself to enjoy it very much.
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