Author: Lisa Amowitz
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Length: 264 pages
The light is darker than you think…
High school student Bobby Pendell already has his hands full—he works almost every night to support his disabled-vet father and gifted little brother. Then he meets the beautiful new girl in town, who just happens to be his boss’s daughter. Bobby has rules about that kind of thing. Nothing matters more than keeping his job.
When Bobby starts to get blinding migraines that come with scary, violent hallucinations, his livelihood is on the line. Soon, he must face the stunning possibility that the visions of murder are actually real. With his world going dark, Bobby is set on the trail of the serial killer terrorizing his small town. With everyone else convinced he’s the prime suspect, Bobby realizes that he, or the girl he loves, might be killer's next victim.
Protagonist: Bobby Pendell is the self-deprecating, proud, and good natured protagonist of this story. Honestly, for the most part I thought Bobby was an incredible character, he's down to earth, but with the types of flaws to make the story all the more interesting, however his character development felt like it got lost in the mix. It's like I know it's there and I could sort of feel it a little bit while I was reading, but it wasn't as prevalent as it should be for a character like him.
Romance: So Bobby's love interest Gabe, short for Gabriella, was actually a really cool girl, and could definitely fit in with my very exclusive group of book crushes, however Bobby's feelings for her came on so intense so fast that it was hard to read how he felt about her after only spending an hour or two with her, tops. However, over the course of the book their romance reached a point where, although a tad idealistic, felt natural and ends up in a good place.
World-Building: So I went into this thinking that this book dealt with a paranormal ability that a teen uses to solve a murder, and while that's the case, sort of, this book reads a lot more like a contemporary murder mystery. Bobby's ability isn't as magical as it seems and while I have no problem with that, even thinking that the medical terminology the author uses sounds pretty cool, but the attempt to make it seem more realistic made the story, as weird as this is going to sound, less believable. In terms of pacing and writing, the pacing is a bit slow in the beginning and, while I'm not sure if it was from my feelings towards this book or the fact that I've been reading back to back books recently, I nearly put this book down for a while, but once I pushed through I was glad I did as it picks up pretty quickly about a quarter of the way through.
Predictability: Okay guys, I seriously felt at multiple points in this book that this author was just messing with my head. Which is pretty true. Near the beginning of the book I thought I had figured out the identity of the murderer terrorizing this small town but it was really more an inkling than an actual theory, and then as the story went on it made more and more sense, then I thought I was proven wrong, then right but in a different way than I had originally imagined, then my brain was fried with what the actual outcome was. With all of the little theories I had come up with, this one was well, this one was, I can't even explain how crazy and unexpected this twist was.
Ending: So if I knew nothing about this book, specifically that at the moment I'm writing this Goodreads defines this book as a stand-alone, I would have believed that this was only the first book in a series, and maybe it is, I'm not sure, but if it is a stand-alone I'm a bit frustrated with how this story ends. While the main storyline is wrapped up and there is a bit of an epilogue chapter to really wrap some things up, it instead lead to what I will refer to for now as a "near cliffhanger" where I'm pretty sure I know what'll happen, but the sliver of doubt in my mind will probably eat at me for a while.
For the most part I loved this book, it's dark and mysterious, and even the bumpy romance is smoothed out by the end of the book, but the ending and my weird feeling about Bobby's character development are the only things that truly gave me pause. I'd recommend this book to fans of murder mysteries paranormal books with a realistic edge to them.