Republished by Open Road Media on August 7th 2012
Book kindly received via NetGalley from publisher
It was very hot the last week before school began: as though the wind from another world were crossing the island.
Christina Romney is thirteen, with a personality that matches her unruly but charming tri-colored hair. She is about to start seventh grade, and for kids from Maine's Burning Fog Island, that means leaving their little white schoolhouse for regular classrooms and life on the mainland. Everyone assures Christina it will be a fantastic year. Mainland school offers great advantages, after all: extracurricular activities other than boating and fishing, a gym, a cafeteria, and more kids her age. Best of all, this year the boarding students will live at the historic Schooner Inne, a former sea captain's house (and now a bed and breakfast) recently bought by the school's charismatic new principal and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Shevvington.
But Christina is apprehensive. She adores the wildness and excitement of her island life. Boarding with her island friends will surely help: Anya, a beautiful senior, fifteen-year-old Benji, the aspiring lobsterman, and his crush-worthy younger brother Michael. But Christina's apprehension sharpens when Benji and Michael aren't as friendly as they used to be on the island, and Anya starts acting so strangely it seems she is slowly losing her mind. Christina is increasingly certain the Shevvingtons are behind all of these changes. But no one else can see the Shevvingtons' eerie behavior-not other teachers, not her parents, not even her fellow island kids. Is Anya the one going crazy in the Schooner Inne-or is it Christina?
When I requested is book from Netgalley, I had no idea that it was republished and had been around for quite a few years. I also wasn't aware that the author was well known for her Point Horror books. Now thinking about it, I can see the writing lacks modern appliances which we tend to find associated with life these days.
There are aspects about this book I really enjoyed and yet there are also parts that I really didn't enjoy, so this is very much a sit on the fence review.
I loved the idea of the story - the strong beginning had me entranced and the personification of the sea was excellent, allowing me to view it as the real villain of the story. The ending had an excellent twist which I really didn't expect. The atmosphere was excellent and I did feel a chill on reading the scarier parts. Some of the main characters were very strong and well written. Christina dealt with everything that was thrown at her well after initially being a little upset. I adored the wistful, almost angelic Anya - I wanted to save her from the lonely road she was being lured down.
However, other characters lacked personality and often felt surplus to the story. A couple of them seemed to appear in the story surrounded by intrigue and then disappear without any explanation as to who they were connected to, so by the end I felt a little confused by their very existence.
At times the writing seemed to jump around a lot and I would get a little lost in the story, which I felt was a shame as it showed such promising potential to begin with.
On reflection now, I am surprised how often it has been republished, so maybe I am missing something that others have enjoyed within it. I loved the idea and the atmosphere surrounding it, I just felt it lacked a clear plot and had unnecessary characters added to it. This book is part of a series, so maybe the extra characters appear in future books. I would love to think that the series gets better as you progress through the trilogy, as the author is well known for her Point Horror books. Unfortunately this book didn't really work for me.