The synopsis says it perfectly as we head to the town of Shade to uncover some of its inhabitants’ secrets along with our leading lady – Lila Crain – now, Lila was just an ok character for me because she was slightly irritating at times but hey..which teenager isn’t? and she has a tendency to over analyse her thoughts and often dredges up the same dilemmas again and again making her a tough cookie to connect to and also making decisions which were so dumb that I could quite easily have smacked her….for instance, she decides to give her virginity to one boy who she just ‘likes’ because she wants to remain ‘in’ with him and therefore the ‘in crowd’ when she has feelings for someone else that she knows far outweigh any feelings she has for the de-flowerer….it was like, ok I’ll just do it cos I’m bored…NO! seriously, just no! and that did really put me off her character but I kept reading because I was still interested in her story and her need to fit into a new town & school. This girls homelife was just wrong, divorced, absent parents allowing her to bring herself up with practically no boundaries and no interest in her life, so she is prime fodder for the ‘in crowd’ at school who are led by queen B – Sam. Even though she has doubts about joining them, she quickly brushes her worries aside even though she has been warned by the mysterious Cressida and also shown evidence which she chooses to disbelieve. Everything seems hunky dory and life at Shade High is good with one exception, she has super strong feelings for Sam’s boyfriend Sky despite being involved with Reid who she likes but isn’t really into. She knows something isn’t right and her being brought into the clique is dubious but she brushes these doubts aside and accepts Reids explanations until one of them turns on her and she is then attacked, leading to the big reveal and we finally find out not just about the clique’s secret but also Cressidas’ and things finally start to get interesting. Lila then immerses herself in their lives, desperate to remain a part of things in any way that she can but then, they decide to cut her loose and she finds things out about herself that has some great potential.
I would say that this book interesting and just like Lila, the curiosity about Sam & her friends was what kept me reading. Obviously the title of the series will give you an idea of what we’re dealing with so the big reveal will come as no surprise although I did like the story of how they came about and how it ties into Artemis. I was more interested in Cressida than the others, she had my interest from the very start and wish she had been featured more in the story and definitely should have befriended Lila and spent more time with her. It was very much a ‘getting to know you’ book, we’re finding out about who’s who, how things are, who has hidden secrets and who is capable of what, topped off with a couple of threat scenarios and whilst I did like it, it felt flat because I felt that the danger throughout the book was quite weak, yes there are some secrets, lies, betrayals but I wanted more of an enemy, more danger, more threat and I felt it was all just a bit too juvenile considering who the threat was coming from and I still feel like I didn’t really know her end goal. I loved what changes happen to Lila in the latter part of the book though and what she finds out about herself, this is something that definitely interested me and could have some potential but it was too little, too late and definitely missed opportunities about teaming up with Cressida…. I’m curious about were things will go in a sequel but wouldn’t be in a hurry to read it.