YA novels don't tend to be too wowing in the thrill department and while this one is not so different--what works is how engaging and captivating the story is written.
The writing is beautiful and really draws the reader in, it just took a bit of time to get there. The most action happens in the very latter half of the novel. If you are a patient reader, this won't be too much of a bother.
Ella or Nora depending on what section of the novel you're in has synesthesia--which is a fancy way of saying she can read your auras--based on what you're feeling, which is interesting in and of itself, and not used too often--giving the novel a boost in the unique department.
Ella's parents died in a fire and she's believed that her whole life, until the charismatic yet shy, Alec comes into town blowing up her entire world.
And he does that indeed.
He shakes up her world and readers get to come along for the journey of self-discovery and also to find out what really happened to her parents. What is a freak accident, or were they murdered?
Lyons does a good job of dangling the mystery over our heads, but for the wait, though it was sort of shocking, it also was predictable in that it made the most sense to happen/end the way it did.
This is a better selection of the YA mysteries available, but it just doesn't wow--but it gets major points for originality, interesting characters, and a decent ending.
Recommended for readers who like a more realistic mystery with the cant-put-this-down factor.