*** 1/2 really
This poor book has been sitting on my TBR shelves, gathering dust for about three years. I bought it because of the dust jacket without knowing anything about it except the blurb on the back about cursed love.
Positives: This was a decent read. The whole magic system, while not ground-breakingly original, was pretty clever. I really enjoyed the characterization of the supporting cast... the entire Caster family (and Ridley, who I quite enjoyed disliking), the Sisters were fun to read about and I really dug Amma and Macon Ravencroft (and Boo Radley). One of my favorite scenes in the book was during the "disciplinary hearing" after Macon showed up. The story, overall, flowed pretty smoothly. Even being nearly 600 pages in length, when I was reading, the story went really quickly and I was interested enough to keep reading to see what happened next. When I was reading, I could feel the anticipation and was counting down the days with Lena and Ethan. I also liked reading this cursed love story from the male POV. Nice change of pace from the majority of young adult books I've read. It didn't end with a cliffhanger, which a big plus. It just ended with a little tease that implied there will be a sequel.
Negatives: Every time I put the book down, I didn't feel the need to pick it back up. Seriously, 551 pages in... a major character may or may not have been dead... I put it down, and later had to practically force myself to pick it back up because there was no way I wasn't going to finish the last 12 pages at that point. There were quite a few things that I figured out WAY earlier than our main characters. The authors were dropping what I felt were incredibly obvious clues everywhere. I had to fight the urge to skim every time they started writing in length about the Civil War. I was born and raised in the South, it reminded me of History class in high school and I read those parts with about as much enthusiasm as the back of a shampoo bottle. And bless her heart, Lena really did have that whole ‘special snowflake' thing going on all the way through the story. I also didn't really feel any chemistry between Lena and Ethan, other than being apparently fated to be together.
In my head, it was interesting enough when I was reading it but I just don't care about it. When I wasn't reading it, I wasn't even remotely interested in it.
It is always possible that I might read the next in the series but more than likely, I won't.