Violet is a poor little not-rich girl. At 17, she lives in a run-down mansion with her brother Luke, and nobody else, because her (perhaps a bit irresponsible) artist parents have taken off for Europe and her grandmother, Freddie, recently died. And she needs money to make ends meet, because the money her parents left before they took off has just run out. She puts an add out to rent the guest cottage — but does not expect anyone to answer. That’s why, when handsome River West drives up in a classic car, she doesn’t know how to react to him. Maybe she’s already half in love with him, after five minutes. There’s no question that he is rich, and handsome, and very fun to be with. But wherever he goes, bad things happen …
I’m not quite sure whether I should classify this book as YA fantasy or YA horror. It’s got elements of both. What’s scary about it is how effectively we find ourselves seeing River West through Violet’s eyes. It’s a creeping sensation, one that sneaks up on you. The more you know, the more horrific the situation becomes, yet like Violet, you don’t actually want to escape from it.
This is a really, really good book. Read it. Or don’t, if you’re the kind that gets nightmares. Yet the wonderful — and horrific — thing is, that at the end, you have the sense that River and Violet aren’t done with each other. Oh, no. Not at all.
The sequel should be fun.
(I bought this book after a friend recommended it. I have no other connection with the autho or publisher)