Author: Nancy Werlin
Published: 2010 by Penguin Group
Phoebe finds herself drawn to Mallory, the strange and secretive new kid in school. Soon the two girls are as close as sisters . . . until Mallory’s magnetic older brother, Ryland, appears. Ryland has an immediate, exciting hold on Phoebe—but a dangerous hold, for she begins to question her feelings about her best friend and, worse, about herself.Soon she’ll discover the shocking, fantastical truth about Ryland and Mallory, and about an age-old debt they expect Phoebe to pay. Will she be strong enough to resist? Will she be special enough to save herself?
Let me just start by saying that when I picked this up I had no idea where it was going. The synopsis doesn’t say a lot, and I was only really reading it because I enjoyed Impossible, also by Nancy Werlin.
This book was way different. I’m not going to say much because I don’t want to give away anything, but basically the story is about Phoebe, who feels ordinary in her family of extraordinary people, and this leads to entanglement with the mysterious siblings.
Phoebe was rather annoying when she was with Ryland because he was performing some kind of mind-control thingy on her and that made her stupid, which got on my nerves (I realize it’s part of the plotline, but still. It annoyed me. I couldn’t tell if she was thinking her own thoughts or the thoughts he “told” her to think). When she was with her friend Benjamin, or her family, I liked her. Her journey towards higher self-esteem and realization of her own “extraordinary-ness” was interesting.
Ryland was a jerkface and Nancy Werlin makes that easy to see from the beginning. He basically tricks Phoebe and makes her fall for him, and then belittles her constantly, but because of the “glamour” she can’t stop liking him.
Mallory was an confusing character. While their friendship seemed legit and deep, it also seemed brushed over. The jacket synopsis makes it seem like they have this amazing friendship, but the majority of the book is about that friendship being destroyed. But as a character, Mallory was nice.
The whole plotline is a little crazy, but that’s a habit of Nancy’s, considering Impossible, although this one was more far-fetched. She combines fantasy elements into a modern lifestyle, and it can be weird, but it works.
Regardless, this book kept me reading because I wanted to know what happened at the end. So it was interesting, just not fantastic.
Content Warnings: Ryland and Phoebe kiss and it is implied they have sex. Some language.