This book as such a nice surprise and totally not what I was expecting. How come I am just finding out about this book?! It was so entertaining and fast paced. A surprisingly fast read. By looking at the cover, the title, and the blurb you know that you are about to read about book about Fae and runaway kids in the woods, but never did I imagine that it would be so hard to put down. At this point I am just itching to read the second book.
The story is told from the main characters's perspective, Jayne. Being in Jane's head was so much fun. Her inner dialogue was hilarious, not to mention the stuff that came out of her mouth. She has a potty mouth and is tough as nails. Jane tends to say whatever she is thinking, without considering the consequences, a fact that has alienated her from the kids at her school and has labeled her as a troublemaker. Jayne only has one friend, Tony, the nerdy kid at her school who she practically annoyed relentlessly until he finally agreed to hang out with her. Jayne and Tony are tight, best friends, in a completely non-romantic way. Jayne also has a serious problem at home. Her divorced mother has a live-in boyfriend that likes Jayne a little too much, to the extreme that he has attempted molesting her, forcing Jayne to take matters into her own hands and regularly find ways to defend herself from him. Her best friend Tony has gotten wind of what is happening with Jayne and, being unhappy at home himself, he proposes running away to Jane, assuring her that if they don't run away together he won't be able to control himself and have to put himself and a gun between Jayne and her step-father. To avoid complications that could send her loyal best friend to jail, Jayne agrees to tun away with Tony to Miami.
Once in Miami, Jayne and Tony find themselves homeless and quickly run out of money. Circumstances lead them to Jared, who finds them a place to stay in an abandoned warehouse where a group of 5 other runaways are already settled, under the Jared's leadership. Doubtful but without any other choice, Jayne and Tony agree to stay with Jared and their group, under the agreement that it was to be temporarily. A hard to resist offer, by way of a flyer, finds their way to the group of runaways, a $500 fitness trial compensation to anyone who completes the test. The group, seeing this as a chance to get more money for food and shelter, agree to subject themselves to this trial, not expecting what will happen next. Jayne, Tony, and the group of runaways, find themselves in an unknown location, in the woods, where they realize that in order to make it out they have to defeat many obstacles, all of which are magical and/or supernatural, and in the process realize that they each have abilities they never knew they had.
Elle Casey's ability to tell a highly entertaining story with a combination of supernatural, fantasy, and contemporary elements took me for a ride. I saw this story as a combination of Karen Marie Moning's Fever series' Fae lore and The Hunger Games' big-time action, all the while keeping it unique and remarkable. All the characters have distinct personalities traits that make it easy for you as the reader to identify with them, yet you still had that sense of doubt that at least one of them wasn't as or who they seemed to be. I am very glad I was able to take part in this book's blog tour, otherwise I might have missed the chance to have this series on my radar and my e-reader. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about the Fae, or just plain loves action and a good laugh. There is some strong language in this book as the main character doesn't seem to have a filter, but then again, that's what made her all the more entertaining. I give this book 5 stars. Excellent, excellent, read.
(Originally reviewed at JJiReads.blogspot.com)