By Martina Boone
Simon Pulse, 448 pgs. 2014. Young adult.
This young adult novel drew me in based on the description of the Southern Gothic setting. Barrie is a teen from San Francisco that is sent to live on her family's estate on Watson Island in South Carolina after her guardian's health rapidly declines. Her parents have both passed away and she doesn't know much of their past, but after arriving on the island she discovers they both harbored some secrets. Barrie sets out to help her aunt, find out about her family, forgive her mother, and of course fall in love. In the meantime she also picks up on her magic abilities that are passed down from generations.
The romance, magic, paranormal twists, and mystery were a good combination for a young adult book, even thought the plot became somewhat complicated and the teen angst more than what I can usually handle. There are magical creatures that ruin her aunt's house, headaches that keep Barrie from leaving the island and a whole lot more that really seemed like it would go a different direction. I have high hopes for the second book as this one did have a lot I enjoyed, but just seemed to be too much in one book. If you like paranormal books or even the South or romance, you would probably like this one.