Author: Natasha Preston
Genre: YA Contemporary/Mystery
Number of Pages: 352
Publication Date: August 4, 2015
My Rating: 2/5 stars
I received a copy of this book from Sourcebooks Fire through NetGalley. Thank you!
Scarlett doesn’t remember anything before the age of five. Her parents say it’s from the trauma of seeing her house burn down, and she accepts the life they’ve created for her without question—until a car accident causes Scarlett to start remembering pieces of an unfamiliar past.
When a new guy moves into town, Scarlett feels an instant spark. But Noah knows the truth of Scarlett’s past, and he’s determined to shield her from it…because Scarlett grew up in a cult called Eternal Light, controlled by her biological parents.
And they want her back.
I had such high hopes for this book. I really thought that I would enjoy the cult storyline, and I was right. Unfortunately, that’s about the only thing that I enjoyed. The best part of the book for me was the last ~20%, which really heavily featured the cult storyline. I had to fight really hard to not DNF this.
My main issue was that I couldn’t care less about any of the characters. There was no connection for me. Even when the characters were in danger and fighting for their lives, I just didn’t care what happened. On top of that, Scarlett and Noah were both extremely annoying. Not only did I not care about them, but I just couldn’t stand either of them. Their romance was quite possibly the most nauseating thing I’ve ever read. They’re just kids. I honestly can’t remember their exact ages, but I think they’re 16-17, and not even a month or two after meeting, both characters are thinking about marriage and spending forever together. Normally, I’m not too critical about instalove. Most instalove is just lust and physical attraction, but this is something else entirely. Scarlett and Noah’s “feelings” for each other are just weird, and not at all realistic.
The other issue that I had was with the “mystery” of Scarlett’s memory loss. I may be the strange one here, but I don’t really remember anything from my very early childhood either. I had a hard time viewing her “memory loss” as something mysterious when I can’t remember many things from my first few years either. As this was a pretty huge plot point, I thought that it made the entire book fall flat as a whole. I feel like Preston should have made Scarlett “forget” a bigger chunk of time if she wanted to go that route.
Overall, this book just fell flat for me. The promising synopsis drew me in, but the one dimensional characters, awful romance, and failed mystery elements made this a dud. I give this 2 out of 5 stars, simply because I sort of liked the end.