In her dreams he’s irresistible—seductive, charming, and undoubtedly dangerous. But when he appears to her when she’s awake—and captivates her just the same—she’s not sure which way is up and which is down.First Line: "Everything changed the night I saw the burning man fall from the sky." Intrigue, and then, she dives into the voice and a little background of the character (it's far from a background dump, just laying the groundwork for understanding who we are dealing with).
Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life, not allowed the same freedoms as the rest of the teenagers in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, she feels every urge she’s ever denied burning through her at the slightest glance from Haden Black. Theia knows she’s seen Haden before—not around town, but in her dreams.
Theia doesn’t understand how she dreamed of Haden before they ever met, but every night has them joined in a haunting world of eerie fantasy. And as the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her forward one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear. And as she slowly discovers what Haden truly is, Theia’s not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.
Beefs: I was hesitant at first of the infrequent POV changes--we slide into Haden's POV a few times, very few--but it all made sense in the end, setting us up for something I thought was very daring. I wouldn't advice many writers to try it, that's how tricky it is and how well Hayes delivered.
Brownie Points: Aside from everything I've already gushed about, the biggest one I have to give props for are the dream sequences. I picked the book up thinking, "Oh no, not another dream sequence book in which they fall in love in dreams, yadda, yadda, yadda." Dream sequences are so hard to execute without losing the reader or going completely off the map. These were done so well, I actually wanted to skip ahead to those parts (I didn't because the rest of it was amazing too; I love Theia's friends--they are Brownie Point number 2).
Ending: From now on, I'll be discontinuing this particular section from my Wednesday Reads. For this week, I'll say a few more words: awesome. Okay, that was only one word, and I already gushed about it above.
Recommendation: If you're writing Paranormal Romance, this is definitely one to read. Study how Hayes manages to create something new in a tired genre. If you like Paranormal Romance, read it. If you like YA, read it.
Would I represent it? This particular book, yes. If not for the VOICE alone. However, I'm always wary of manuscripts with dream sequences because they are so hard to do. Not saying I won't take a look, but they have to be very original and well done (and not super weird--my dreams are odd enough, no need to read about it too).