Jennifer L. Armentrout
Summary (from Goodreads):
Dying sucks--and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.
Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he's a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she's more than interested. There's just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she's willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't?
But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not've been an accident at all, she's not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.
First, a comment on the cover. On a scale of 5, I'd say this is a 2. The cover really doesn't blow my skirt, if you know what I mean. All I can say is don't judge this book by this cover. Seriously. The book is so much better than its cover!
So let's break it down, shall we?
Likeable characters: check.
You have to like Ember and her strength and determination to protect her invalid mom and her younger sister. Both Ember and Olivia are 'different' from other kids, and she tries so hard to protect their secret and keep Olivia from experiencing the same crap that Ember does. Hayden is a delicious knight in shining armor...well, almost shiny. He's got a few secrets and issues of his own, which makes a good character. No one likes absolute perfection, ya know what I mean? There are gobs of minor characters that are mysterious and have depth and you really don't know who Ember should trust. They are not all nice, but that doesn't mean that they all want Ember dead...gone maybe, but not dead. And as for trust issues? Sometimes I wanted to shake Ember a little, because I think on some levels she took the mis-trust to an extreme, but whatever. Like I said...no one likes perfection. It's boring.
Good plot: check
The plot was twisty and turny and went up and down. It was like a roller coaster ride. I don't recall any plot holes, but just this intense desire to keep reading and see what Ms. Armentrout was going to throw at me next...I think she likes her readers to trip and fall. A lot. I don't mind. Makes the reading good! A little bit of a take on X-Men...same kind of premise, just a different story.
Quality writing: check
Really, some quality writing
Recommended reading: check
I'd recommend it to anyone who likes YA fantasy.