As I first began reading this book, I wasn't sure what to expect. It began like many other YA novels. We have our trio of friends, Cassie, Gwen, and Ian, with Ian secretly in love with Cassie. Enter the hot and sassy new kid, Jack, who takes an immediate interest in Cassie as well. Cassie isn't interested in the attention and the resulting sarcastic banter between the two is quite humorous and enjoyable to read. Cassie does slowly let her guard down but this is where most of my hunches fell apart. When there is a local murder, Gwen enlists Cassie to help her solve it. As they investigate, they realize that the murder may be even closer to home than they thought and let's just say that some characters aren't what they seem. I was expecting a huge love triangle but, aside from some minor tension, it was refreshing to see that the story was able to avoid making this the main plot and focused more on story development.
The paranormal element of the story emerges slowly but is always there, right under the surface. I loved the scene with the Ouija board because it was perfect old school horror. I have an incredible urge to go back and watch some old 80's horror movies. In addition, Cassie's nightmares and the mysterious hooded figure Cassie keeps seeing kept me turning the pages. Even though the real action didn't begin until late in the story, there was always just enough mystery and intrigue to keep me going. Once things finally escalated, there was no way I was putting the book down, especially after most of my theories were blown out of the water.
My one wish would be that there were a bit more action and an explanation about the paranormal element earlier in the story. I felt a bit rushed toward the end and would have liked more time to absorb the facts before the big cliffhanger, and it is a BIG cliffhanger! One that will have you wishing the next book was already available so you can continue the story.