Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult/Paranormal
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Story Perspective: First-Person
Themes: Romance, Revenge, Identity, Retribution, Redemption, Regret
This book was given for free, courtesy by NetGalley
and Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing.
Once there were three sisters who were accused of witchcraft. Due to this, the three were sentenced to death. However, every year, for two centuries, the girls return possessing three young female bodies in the small town of Sparrow. In turn, each year, several boys meet their end to the sea.
Teenage Penny knows the Swan sisters’ history and of their yearly return, as everyone else does. However, even with its disturbing outcome every year, she and her mom continue to live in Sparrow. This year isn’t any different, except for Bo. A stranger who stumbled upon their town. Will he be safe from the Swan sisters? When will the curse be broken?
My first impressions of this book was awe. Every time I opened my Kindle to read it, I became excited and was easily sucked into Ernshaw’s dark and mysterious world.
While reading, it was easy to picture the dark, damp feeling that Sparrow held. Even with the amount of tragedy that happens in this town, none of the scenes were too graphically described. The storyline was fast-paced as the reader got to know both present-day Sparrow and centuries-ago Sparrow. I thought the small glimpses of when the Swan sisters were alive were clever and smoothly done. To be honest, I would have loved more background and insight of their past lives.
When looking at characters, I really enjoyed the array of personalities. Quiet and reflective Penny, mysterious Bo, naive Rose, and despondent Penny’s mom. When looking at development, though, the most developed character was Penny, as the book was written in her perspective. There were times when I questioned if anyone else were developed more. Bo, the love interest, was given a motive for entering Sparrow, but I don’t think this constitutes as development. In general, every else was fairly one-dimensional.
I would say there were a few plot holes. For instance, there is much mention about Penny’s mom’s depressed state, and even though we get a basic reason why, I feel there is more to her story that could’ve been explored more. Without giving too much away, we never learn the current state of Bo’s family. It also would have been nice to know what happened to the girls that were affected by the Swan sisters. Lastly, I would have also liked to know how were the three sisters able to survive all those years, how were they able to return, and where do they normally go when they aren’t possessing three girls?
As a fair warning, there is talk about death (as mentioned earlier) and sexual intercourse between teenagers. The sexual scenes, though not many, were described enough for young people to understand what was happening.
Even with its lack of character development and some plot holes, I found the pacing to be fast, the storyline creative, and an overall joy to read. I will definitely be looking out for more of Shea Ernshaw’s works!
I would absolutely recommend this to those who enjoy reading young adult romance novels with some paranormal activity.
Was this a book of my choosing or one for review?
33 out of 50 books of my choosing for 2018!