First, I enjoyed this story. The more I read it, the more I fell into Allie's world and by the end, I couldn't put it down and ended up staying up much too late into the night. However, the first chapter or so was a little rough to get through. The first scenes are okay--we see Allie at a bonfire with her boyfriend, shunned by his friends. It wasn't clear to me why the others saw her as weird...but then she doesn't know herself. Which was odd (most of the story through). I missed something solid during this first part to prove this--to hold on to because it kind of flapped out there as an 'accept it, it is so.' And the sudden move of the parents was too quick as well as the reactions.
But the rest of the story grew on me. And now, I can't wait to get my hands on book two.
Allie is awesome. A little difficult to grasp at first and sulky, but as the pieces fall together, so does she. It takes awhile to know exactly what's going on with her and those around her, but the author does a great job of letting us feel our way through the uncertainty with her. There are times where I didn't understand Allie's sudden reactions, but this could be hacked up to her coping with her abilities, I guess. Allie's special-ness isn't something she embraces right away (but she's not completely sure what she's embracing). This hesitation and her need to cling to normal life seems very realistic.
The pace in this story is great. I did wonder when the 'evil' guys would get involved, but until they did, the author kept the action running. Allie doesn't get much sleep, and neither did I as a reader. There are a few moments which slow down as the information concerning other character's pasts and the history of their people is brought to light. But I like the way these small dumps were done--as a story time, making the history itself into a mini-adventure. There are some logic holes in the powers and how this all works, but I was willing to slide over them and cheer for Allie as she learned to accept the new her.
I really enjoyed the character depth, not only with Allie, but the others as well. Allie's falling into a big family, which loves her and immediately accepts her as their own. They are all willing to give their life for each other, and learning their histories made it easier to understand this devotion. Allie learns to love them, and so did I, the reader.
Summed up, this is a fast-paced, fun read, and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book and see where Allie and her friends are headed.