Series: Shadow Falls #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by St. Martin's Griffin (3.29.2011)
Paperback, 416 pages
One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.
Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.
Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…
So Kylie comes from a dysfunctional family…in the beginning, her parents (who I really just want to punch in the face repeatedly) are getting a divorce. She gets busted for being in the wrong place at the wrong time and gets shipped off to a camp of supernaturals. She has no idea that it’s actually a camp for supernaturals, so when she starts meeting her campmates things get a little freaky. But then the camp leader, Holiday, pulls her aside and gives her the “werwolves and vampires exist, and you’re here because you’re special” spiel. Can we say cliche?
The next problem I had with this book, and probably the biggest: love triangle. Like seriously people, what ever happened to a good ole one-on-one romance?!? Kylie has so many males practically throwing themselves at her, it’s more like a freaking love square. And Kylie…damn man, I’ve never read about someone so fickle. And I thought Bella was bad. Twilight haters should NOT read this book.
First, there’s Derek. Tall dark and handsome, he’s immediately drawn to Kylie and follows her around like some creepy stalker guy (easy, Edward). He trades a pint of his own blood to draw Kylie’s name for the Meet Your Campmates thing. Creepy…right?
Kylie keeps saying how Derek reminds her of her ex-boyfriend, Trey. Repeatedly. Like, every time she sees or thinks about Derek. It gets extremely annoying. Anyway, because Derek reminds her of Trey she decides she should stay away from him because she might confuse those feelings. So, what does she do? Fantasizes about kissing him. Almost kisses him. Like two chapters later. Somebody doesn’t know what she wants….
Which brings us to Lucas. Also tall dark and handsome. Hmm. When she first sees him, she refers to him as a cat killer. And, of course, me being a crazy cat lover, I immediately despise him. The mental image of his character that my subconscious provided is Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy). Which just makes me automatically not trust him. But he’s still hot, right? Well I guess that’s all that matters to Kylie, because despite the fact that she thinks he killed her cat, she still has the hots for him. Oh yeah, and she also has major hots for Derek, who reminds her of Trey (in case you didn’t know).
And then there’s Trey. He is all over some other girl right after they broke up, but then when Kylie goes off to camp he suddenly wants her back. He shows up at her room and tries to fondle her while tossing around the “L” word. Hello Kylie, you are obviously a booty call. But even while kissing Trey, she thinks of Derek. And accidentally calls him Derek. Oh, snap! If you can’t get the name right, obviously you have too many love interests.
Back to Kylie flip flopping…she imagines kissing Derek, then she turns around and tells him they should just be friends. So what does he do? He hangs on another girl to make her jealous. Smooth Derek, smooth. Does it work? Of course it does. Nevermind that it was her idea to be “just friends,” Kylie is immediately resentful of Derek’s attention toward this new girl, Mandy. Hey, be careful what you wish for. So Kylie avoids Derek so she doesn’t have to deal with it.
Then, along comes Lucas, drawing her name for Meet Your Campmates (predictable). They go off into the woods together, and lo and behold, she ends up on top of him, having a heated make-out session. But okay, I have to admit, this scene almost gave me butterflies. Lucas and Kylie don’t get along very well, then they lighten up and have a water fight and fall by accident…and all of the sudden he’s looking at her differently and kisses her out of nowhere. Sigh. Yes, I like that kind of thing. Then he buys her a kitten to make up for the one she lost – um, can we say squee? I’d pick Lucas over Derek any day.
But then Lucas leaves (sad face) and she goes back to pining for Derek. Like, WTF Kylie? She forgets Lucas so fast it’s disgusting. All in all, I was extremely unimpressed with her. Aside from being grossly fickle, she doesn’t have much of a sense of humor and her personality falls flat. The comic relief came from Miranda (an eccentric witch), Della (a temperamental vampire), and Perry (a perverted shape-shifter). Without those characters I probably would have hated this book. I don’t think Kylie made me laugh once…not even crack a smile.
The third person POV in this book made my eye twitch. It never moved outside of the circle of Kylie’s awareness, so first person would have been much more effective. There were a lot of times when Kylie’s name was overused…the usage of “she” and “her” more often would have made it flow better. Third person was unnecessary for this story. Another thing about the writing that bothered me was the term “shot off” used in reference to walking away quickly. I don’t really like the term in the first place and it was used way too much.
There wasn’t much to the plot…just Kylie adjusting to new life, denying that she’s “special,” and having major indecision in the male department. There wasn’t enough conflict, and the one fight scene in the whole story fizzled. Everything was ordinary up until the last 100 pages, where out of nowhere there is an evil scheme brewing. And even that seemed rushed and fake to me.
When reading reviews for this book online, I kept seeing people mention a twist at the end…hey guys, care to fill me in? Because the only thing I can think of is figuring out who Soldier Dude is and I had that figured out 150 pages before Kylie did. That wasn’t even a surprise because it was so obvious. And when she does find out, there’s no leading up to it or dawning, she just suddenly knows it. Booorrriiiiing. There were no surprises and no emotion in this book for me. I don’t even want to read book 2.
While I like the general idea, it didn’t really go anywhere.
Writing Style: 2/5
Her writing style screams novice.
Kylie gets a big fat 0. The 3 is for Miranda, Della, Perry, and Lucas. Oh, and Holiday. She was pretty cool.
Even though nothing was really happening, I surprisingly wasn’t bored much.
Overall rating: 2.5/5 starfish