For Abby, everything seems to be coming together her senior year. She's the assistant director of the school play, Much Ado About Nothing, and even if Dave (the director) is a little, well, demanding, she loves it. She finally worked up the courage to apply to Emery, the college she really, really wants to get into. Zero Hour, she and best friend Valerie's favorite local band, are back in town. And she and Jason, the boy next door and her best friend since childhood, are about to celebrate their 4 month anniversary.
Until Dante arrives. Appearing suddenly in the middle of play rehearsal, Dante Alexander, introducted as a foreign exchange student from Italy, is everything Jason is not - spontaneous, mysterious, and unpredictable. Everything about him intrigues Abby - his ever-shifting eye color, his mysterious past, the strange gloves covering his wrists that he always wears, his connection to Zero Hour, and the way that time seems to move strangely whenever Abby is with him.
When Abby begins to experience blinding headaches, and, even stranger, what seem to be flashes of the future, only Dante seems to know what's wrong. Not only that, he seems to think that the headaches are his fault. Confused, Abby lets him help, but is left with more questions than answers. As the two become closer, Abby realizes that Dante is not only hiding the truth about his past, but guarding a dangerous secret. A secret that has the power to change, even destroy, everything, and everyone, she loves. And only Abby has the key to unlock it...
I loved this book! With sweet romance, breathless suspense, terrifying music, comedic Shakespeare, heart-pounding action, and one heck of a mystery, this one's for fans of Maggie Stiefvater, Alyson Noel's the Immortals series, and Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga. And, due to Lisa Mangum's marvelous storytelling and one spectacular cliffhanger of an ending, I'll definately be looking for the sequel, The Golden Spiral, in the summer of 2010!
(now reading the ARC of Fire, which is surpassing even my ridiculously high expectations of the prequel to Graceling - look for an enthusiastic review soon! Kristin Cashore is amazing. And TY to Tiffany, the YA librarian at Shorewood PL, for generously loaning it to me - make sure you say hi to her if you're ever on the East Side!)