Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
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Jennifer L. Armentrout has does it again, with another amazing YA fantasy romance book! The reader cannot help but feel caught right from the beginning and all the way through to the very last page. JLA has a way with writing YA romance scenes, broken, overprotective boys, and strong female characters, all of which she does an excellent job with in this book!
Ember has been dealt a truly unfair hand in life: she has a father who died in the car accident that almost killed her as well, she has a mother who is basically catatonic and just sits around the house all day, she has to care for her five-year-old sister, Olivia (who has the gift of bringing anything dead back to life) all by herself, she is constantly ridiculed, tormented, and called a freak during school, and not to mention that after her sister brings her back to life, anything (or anyone) that she touches immediately dies. Ember spends part of the book feeling sorry for herself (which, I mean, I can't really blame her for), but even when she doesn't believe in herself she still remains a strong character. She does not let anyone else tell her what to do, and when Jonathan Cromwell and his adopted son Hayden bring her and her family to their house of strange kids with "gifts", she may go with them, but she doesn't do so willingly. Throughout the entire novel, Ember is always fighting to make sure her ideas and instincts are not only heard, but believed in.
Of course, one of the best parts about this book was the romance between Ember and Hayden! It was absolutely wonderful to watch the progression of their relationship; after all, what kind of intimate relationship can they have if no part of Ember's skin can come into contact with Hayden's? However, Hayden also has an interesting gift, and after some time and a great deal of arguing, the two make things work. Hayden turns out to be another great JLA boy: lovable, sweet, caring, broken, and most importantly willing to do anything to make sure his love, Ember, is never hurt. Probably partly due to the fact that Ember cannot touch Hayden without killing him, the two were really able to get to know each other as people before they did as partners, and I really enjoyed watching them learn about each other.
Although this book was a great read, it definitely was not as good as JLA's other two series, Lux and Covenant. The entire middle of the book seemed to drag out a little slowly, but it was surrounded by an intriguing beginning and an absolutely thrilling ending. I am unclear about whether this book is a series or a standalone, but I really hope that it is a series because I still have many questions about Ember's world that will take several more books to answer! Either way, fans of romance and fantasy books (and especially those who love JLA) should definitely check out this book!