A teen finds love and danger in a cursed Pacific coast town.
Two hundred years ago, the townsfolk of all-white Sparrow, Oregon, found the three beautiful Swan sisters guilty of witchcraft and executed them by drowning. Ever since, the town has suffered through Swan season: on June 1, the vengeful sisters return from their watery graves to possess the bodies of local girls and lure boys to watery deaths. In response to the inevitability of the three to six deaths each June, the locals have built traditions, even celebrations, around it, and morbid, thrill-seeking tourists come to see the curse in action. Penny Talbot lives on the lighthouse island just off the coast, and she might stay forever in order to care for her mother, who had a breakdown after Penny’s father vanished years ago. The day before Swan season, a cute boy comes into town seeking work and a place to stay. Even though Penny knows he’s hiding something, she’s attracted to him and wants to protect him from the murderous curse. Some readers won’t like how quickly they fall deeply in love, but the characters’ chemistry and connection anchor the mystery and give them a reason to fight against the curse. Penny’s first-person narration is interspersed with third-person snippets of the sisters’ history, effective for pacing and provoking curiosity in this stand-alone.
Readers will drown in this finely crafted, atmospheric book. (Paranormal romance. 14-18)