Written by: Karsten Knight
Released: July 26, 2011 by Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing
Summary: Every flame begins with a spark.
Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned.
Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smouldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.
I have three hours left on my lease for this e-galley from Simon and Schuster (from the time that I'm actually writing this review, not when it will be posted on my blog), so I really need to get down and write my review so that I can cross-reference any information I may have forgotten (I’m pants at remembering names!). So this review will be written just in time for the midnight release.
This was an absolutely amazing novel to read and I am so happy that I was able to read a copy through S&S. Of course, now I’m going to have to go out and buy my own hard copy, but I think I can manage that! Seriously, though, this is a story unlike any that I’ve come across for quite a while. Not only is it overflowing in a plethora of ethnic characters (who don’t conform to stereotypes), it is also rich in storytelling.
Ash is a phenomenal character. In fact, I’m floored by how amazing she is considering that she was written by a he. Aside from the fact that this just shows the magnitude of Knight’s writing capabilities, the way that she was written really made her jump off the page. Add in the awesome mixture of all the supporting characters and you’re never left bored.
I don’t know what else I can say about this novel without repeating myself and generally sounding like a crazed person. If you haven’t already, try and get your hands on this novel sooner rather than later – you definitely won’t be disappointed. I’m giving this novel a 10/10.
My eternal gratitude to Simon and Schuster’s galley grab for allowing me the opportunity to read this novel.