Author: Gillian Shields
Genre: Young Adult
Wyldcliffe Abbey School for Young Ladies, housed in a Gothic mansion on the bleak northern moors, is elite, expensive, and unwelcoming. When Evie Johnson is torn away from her home by the sea to become the newest scholarship student, she is more isolated than she could have dreamed. Strict teachers, snobbish students, and the oppressive atmosphere of Wyldcliffe leave Evie drowning in loneliness.
Evie's only lifeline is Sebastian, a rebellious, mocking, dangerously attractive young man she meets by chance. As Evie's feelings for Sebastian grow with each secret meeting, she starts to fear that he is hiding something about his past. And she is haunted by glimpses of a strange, ghostly girl—a girl who is so eerily like Evie, she could be a sister. Evie is slowly drawn into a tangled web of past and present that she cannot control. And as the extraordinary, elemental forces of Wyldcliffe rise up like the mighty sea, Evie is faced with an astounding truth about Sebastian, and her own incredible fate.
Gillian Shields's electrifying tale will dazzle readers with suspense, mysticism, and romance.
Plot: 4.5 Stars
My favorite part of this book was how seamlessly it jumped between the present and the journal entries detailing the past. The journal entries gave the backstory needed to completely understand Sebastian without bogging the reader down with large amounts of dialogue. I also tend to like books that focus on the paranormal in a boarding school setting, and I felt the Wyldcliffe Abbey School was mysterious and creepy in all the right ways. This novel was definitely a fresh take on immortality and it's consequences.
Pace: 4 Stars
The beginning of the novel was a little slow for my tastes. There was a moment when I almost put it down, but it finally snagged me and picked up speed. There were many twists and turns that I wasn't expecting, and although the ending was quick, it didn't feel rushed.
Characters: 3.5 Stars
Besides Evie and Sebastian, I felt the rest of the characters came up a little short. They weren't really in the spotlight all that much, but I like it when lesser characters have a little more depth. I couldn't even bring myself to hate the mean girls the way I should've because they were kinda flat. While this detracted from some scenes, it didn't affect much of the overall plot because so much of it focused only on Evie and Sebastian.
Cover: 4 Stars
I love the color blue and I love really simple covers. And I also like that it wasn't a portrait of a teenage girl, like so many YA covers depict. The mystery of the deep blues and the necklace drew me in and made me want to read the book.
Overall: 4 Stars
Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.