Yet another angel in human form reluctantly faces her uncertain destiny in a gripping supernatural romance.
High schooler Charlotte’s life has been controlled by the Need: Periodically she experiences an irresistible compulsion to locate a particular person and provide some kind of emotional assistance, never understanding why. But now the episodes are happening every day, dominating her and impossible to explain away to her best friend, rich girl Sarah, and rock-steady boyfriend, Harlin. Onika, a sexy young woman who haunts her nightmares, may hold the key to what’s happening to Charlotte. What she discovers about her future is painful and disturbing. She’s a supernatural being, and when, way too soon, she’s forced back to the light—akin to dying—no one will remember her. Her first-person narration captures the terror of dying young, which is here intensified by the prospect of the erasure of her existence once she’s gone. Realistic dialogue and believable teen situations—opportunities to sneak out for sexual encounters, the ready availability of alcohol, the ugly outcome of Sarah’s rejection of a predatory classmate—all serve to make the fantasy elements more believable. While characters are predictable and superficial, the inventive plot-driven narrative fully conveys Charlotte’s desolation.
Charlotte’s bleak tale provides an imaginative twist on the timeless battle between dark and light and, of course, sets up a potential sequel. (Supernatural romance. 12 & up)