A building collapsed on Mara and three of her friends; Mara is the only survivor, and she can't remember what happened, or even what they were doing in the abandoned asylum. Now Mara and her family have moved to Miami, to give Mara a fresh start--but starting her first day off with a hallucination and a bloody nose isn't winning Mara any points. Getting the attention of the biggest player in school--the guy that every girl wants, gets, and gets left by--isn't winning her any friends, either. Then there are the mysterious deaths, the fact that Mara keeps seeing her dead friends, her defense attorney father's high-profile murder trial, and...well, things start to get weird.
So. There's a lot going on here. Too much for one book, especially when absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, is resolved at the end (and yeah, I get it, first book in a series, but I am a firm believer that each volume should give the reader at least some sense of satisfaction). So, there are dozens of loose threads. Also, the love interest manages to be even creepier than Edward Cullen. Mara has incredible power, but is also more useless than Bella Swan. Not exactly your feminist icon. The writing wasn't, uh. Good. I mean, it didn't get in the way of the story, but this was the opposite of tight writing. It is loose and holey and dull, and the story and the characters did not make up for it. How on Earth did I hear so many amazing things about this?
I will say...I mean, I read all 450 damn pages of it, so it's got something going for it. I'm just not sure what it is.