Here's the summary from Goodreads: Nothing ever came between sisters Alice and Charlie. Friends didn't. Boys couldn't. Their family falling apart never would. Until they got to Serenity Point. In a town built on secrets and lies, it's going to be hard to stay innocent. They're sucked into a strange and seductive world—a world they can't help but hate, and can't help but love. A world that threatens to tear them apart, just when they need each other the most.
Who isn't intrigued now?
What I Liked: 1) The Gothic Mystery element. I read so much paranormal fiction that often I forget how mysterious contemporary novels can be. This one is a nice example of the gothic mystery (albeit pretty easy to figure out, I think I figured it out about 100 pages in.) 2) The secondary characters. The secondary characters of Jude, Cybill, Camilla, and Tommy fascinated me, probably more than the two MCs did. Their lifestyle, which MCs Alice and Charlie are just learning about, is one of indulgence and extravagance, like being dropped into some overdramatic reality tv show. Or a soap opera is more like it. 3) Alice. I connected with Alice a lot when she was doing all of her sleuthing to try and figure out what the big secret was about Camilla. Alice seemed to think she was being sneaky about it, but to me it was just research, and she wasn't giving up until she knew the truth. I'm like that when I'm curious about something, I will research and research until I get my answers. And since her curiosity became my curiosity, that was a big part in keeping me interested.
What I Didn't Like: I hated the way it ended. Hated it. It was like being dropped off a cliff. Not like a big cliffhanger, in fact there wasn't really a cliffhanger at all. But there was a big reveal (of the answers to Alice's mystery) and then nothing. She goes a little crazy in a Henry James kind of way in making all sorts of assumptions, none of which made any sense to me at all. And then the book was over. Really? REALLY? That's how you're going to end it? It's not an ending that drives another book at all. I was very disappointed in that. I also did not like Alice and Charlie's mom at all. But people who completely change their personalities because of some new person in their life bug me in real life too.
Overall thoughts: There is a lot of promise in this debut as it picks up to a great start with fully developed characters and an intriguing mystery. The overindulgent lifestyles of the youth (and the adults) in Serenity Point adds a flair of the dramatic and a lot of fun. The ending was very disappointing though, as the author was simply tired of writing. Yes, it answered the questions that had been developed throughout the course of the story, but there was no gradual let down. It was BOOM, The End. The saving grace for the series is the fact that an excerpt from the next book is included at the end. My belief in Lili Peloquin's talent, plus that mysterious little excerpt have convinced me to give the series another shot.
My Rating: 2 shots