Born at Midnight (Shadow Falls #1) by C.C. Hunter

sundaysIn honor of Sunday – a day I reserve for reading and lollygagging – I bring you a short and sweet book review! 

8705784From the publisher: One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.

Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

Why I picked it up:  A friend of mine told me she spent the entire weekend reading three Shadow Falls books in a row! When she told me about the series, I decided to pluck the first book off of my Nook wish list and give it a try. Needless to say, I was hooked from page one. The perfectly plotted pacing, the complex characters, the boy drama – everything about it had me completely enthralled.

Why I liked it: Considering two paranormal hotties are thrown into the mix, I expected this book to center mostly on the love triangle. But surprisingly, there’s so much more to the story! From her parents’ messy divorce, to her best friend’s pregnancy scare, to her newfound ability to speak with the dead – she’s got a lot more on her mind than who she’s going to kiss at the campfire. A good chunk of the book focuses on Kylie’s friendship with her camp roommates: Della, a moody Goth vampire, and Miranda, a bubbly, boy-crazy witch. Despite their differences, all three girls are fiercely devoted to each other – and I can’t wait to see how their bond develops in the next three books!

What irked me: The Taylor Swift lookalike on the cover doesn’t do Kylie justice. She’s strong-willed, quirky, and a tad self-conscious – nothing like the statuesque blonde beauty striking a sulky supermodel pose inside a spooky tree. To be honest, I get annoyed when publishers feature the image of a main character on the cover. I’d so much rather use my own imagination…isn’t that the reason why we read in the first place?

Why I’m on team Derek: Since Lucas and Kylie formed a connection back when they were little kids, it’s apparent they’re destined for each other. Plus with his dangerous back story and James Dean good looks, he embodies all the hallmarks of a paranormal soul mate. But just for this once, I would like the werewolf underdog (pun intended!) to get the girl.  Derek is sweet, protective and an all-around hottie. Plus it’s no mystery that he’s really into Kylie. There’s one tiny hitch: He has the ability to manipulate emotions with his fairy powers. That adds a miniscule element of danger, but there’s no mistaking that he’s the overlooked  good guy. And as the saying goes, nice guys finish last.

Overall: If there is one book teens – and adults – should have on their must-read list, Born at Midnight is it! Fans of paranormal romance and mystery will hurry to the end of each chapter in anticipation of what will happen next. Unfolding at an easy pace, Kylie’s mystical journey of self-discovery had me glued to the pages until the wee hours of the night. Can’t wait to pounce on the second book!

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