Two teens from opposite ends of the high-school caste system investigate their own identities and learn a hellishly perfect town’s provenance.
The two meet when they awake naked in the same bed, unable to remember how they arrived there. They don't even remember their own names; those they discover when locals in Summer Falls recognize them. In Summer Falls, all storybooks end on a high note, and inhabitants spontaneously pass out when they experience anything painful, recovering quickly to forget all details of distress. In their quest to understand who they are and what happened to them, Elyse and Marshall learn that they are endowed with complementary mystical abilities and that both possess dark family histories. Journals Elyse once left behind provide invaluable clues; somehow she once survived adversity long enough before a “heatnap” struck her to know that memory is unreliable. For readers who accept this, other questionable arrangements aren’t much more egregious. Discerning readers, though, will notice inconsistencies in the rules of Kitandis’ (Whisper, 2010) world. Though Elyse and Marshall alternately narrate, Marshall is less dynamic. No less inquisitive than she, he is more subdued and devoted to their budding romance. The author does not shy away from violence or spare the protagonists from personal connections to the forces of evil and oppression.
Touches on it all—sex, ghosts, magic and dystopia—but masters none of it. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)