Two teenagers dare to challenge their destinies in this Southern romance that is so much more.
Some believe the Lachlin family curse is that those they fall in love with are doomed. But Jesse’s mother believes they’re cursed only if they ever try to leave the family land, and she makes Jesse promise to stay. Now 17, Jesse—red-haired and green-eyed—is heir to his family’s land. But according to his grandmother’s will, a tribunal will vote on whether he is responsible enough to own it when he turns 18. One of the people whose approval he needs is his ex–best-friend, Scarlett Copeland. Scarlett—black-haired and blue-eyed—seems to lead a perfect life, but no one knows that while she dreams of attending the University of Kentucky, her father plans on sending her to a private college in town to keep her close. And no one has any idea that he hits her mother. Jesse and Scarlett reconcile to help one another, and friendship grows into love as they share their burdens and secrets. Beyond a haunted teen romance is a beautiful, moving exploration of domestic violence, forgiveness, and self-love. The plot is well-paced, and the unusual characters, including a self-proclaimed psychic and a pastor who doubles as a counselor, create an authentically complex story. The ways the system sometimes fails the most vulnerable are well-depicted.
Simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming. (author’s playlist) (Fiction.13-adult)