The storyline of this book has the potential to be really interesting. It dares to be written in the first person from a boy's point of view, and also boldly makes the boy (Ethan) well-liked and with plenty of friends. He does, of course, have hidden angst from the death of his mother and the fact that his father is a total recluse who barely speaks to him. The story centres on what happens to Ethan once Lena arrives in his small Southern town. She is a caster, cursed to have her fate decided on her 16th birthday. Lena and Ethan quickly become involved in an intense and, at times frightening, relationship filled with questions and dark happenings as they try to save Lena from her fate.
The story is well-written on the whole and the characters well-drawn. It is fairly involving and has a pretty good climax that leads easily into a sequel. However, I was not totally enthralled buy it. I think the problem was that although I was interested by Lena's predicament and how it came about, and although I really liked Ethan, I wasn't that invested in their relationship. I didn't quite care enough about them being together to really feel an urgency to get to the end of the book. Partly, that feeling is caused by how fast their relationship develops. It becomes intense and all-encompassing over a few short pages which doesn't really give you the time that you need to feel the build up and to start to care about whether they can stay together or not. The other main problem with the story is that there really isn't enough detail given about the whole idea of casters. Lena explains a little and Ethan seems happy with that, but each one of her family is a caster of a different type and I didn't fully understand all of their powers from the information that was provided.
So, ultimately, what started out as an interesting book, didn't quite live up to its promise. It is still worth picking up though, as the actual writing is of a much higher standard than a lot of books aimed at young adults. I hope they improve the momentum of the story for the sequel.