Author: Ivy Devlin
Published: Bloomsbury, 9/17/10
Cover Score: B
Overall Grade: A-
Avery Hood can't remember the night her parents were killed--all that she can recall is a flash of silver, moving inhumanly fast, and then the police who found her near her parents' bodies on the edge of the forest that they loved. Now she's on her own, living with a grandmother she never knew, grieving over the world she loved that is gone forever, and trying to cope while, at school, she attracts whispers and stares. Then Avery meets Ben, a boy who's...different. Who doesn't quite seem all human--whose eyes sometimes flash silver. But Avery is drawn to him anyway...However, she's not the only one who can't remember the night her parents died. And who could be in grave danger herself.
My thoughts: I was expecting the average teen paranormal novel from Low Red Moon. At first glance, it screamed, Twilight knock-off--but I was still intrigued. While some aspects of the book were very been there, done that, so many parts of Low Red Moon really worked together to make an unforgettable read.
For instance, the aspect of the death of Avery's parents added a sort of "grief narrative" to the plot. This part of the story mingled well with the romance--but the aspect of Avery grieving and attempting to find her parent's killer gave the novel a forward push and some real depth. Avery herself was a deep, complex character who I really took to.
Ms. Devlin's writing is literally beautiful--Avery's narrative is poetic, and the wording is perfect. I really understood how Avery was feeling: about Ben, about her parents, about her shaky relationship with her estranged grandmother (who I began to love more and more as the book continued). The story was suspenseful, spooky, and dark--a real page-turner. The ending had me at the edge of my seat, and is thrillingly surprising.
Ironically, the one part that I didn't like as much was the romance. Ben and Avery's relationship was so abrupt and it felt fake, not real at all. Sure, they had some sort of "bond", but I just couldn't help but yawn whenever they were together, or when Avery mentioned that "he wasn't quite all human" over and over again. Sure, it gave the book some paranormal romance pizzaz, but the cheesy factor was high and made the middle of the book drag.
However, Ms. Devlin has made a breathtaking debut that had me hooked. Definitely check this out if you're a fan of the genre and you want a romantic, chilling, well-written, fast mystery!
* Thank you to Kate Lied and Bloomsbury Children's Books for the ARC, and for letting me take part in the Low Red Moon blog tour.