Welcome to Gardnerville.
A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.
There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them.
Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all.
This book was recommended in a list with gothic ghost stories. NONONONONONONONO It is WAY just YA Fiction with supernatural hints, I wouldn't even classify it as fantasy.
So this book sounds like it would be super awesome, kind of creepy with a dark-people-killing-each-other kind of vibe.... And parts of it WERE really good; Gardnerville, the teens turning wild and crazy during the fourth year....an evil reformatory... The past chapters have titles of 80's songs, which I dig.
But... I was also like, "meh...whatever." About the first part of this book where the MC basically spends like 100 pages doped up on purple forget-me-not pills and wanders around in a doped up drug induced state, kind of remembering her maybe sister Piper and kind of remembering other important stuff that may or may not be happening.
I didn't care too much for the characters, what happened to them or why they acted the way they did. I DID like the place they lived and the creepy things that happened during fourth year, that seemed WAY more interesting than the crap that was actually going on. I did like Piper, who had an interesting end game and a surprising character twist.
I had some serious issues with a few of the plot points; like Elton, the high school teacher who is in his twenties, but acts like a teenager and no one seems to care that he was banging two high school girls and got one knocked up. And he killed a bunch of people too, apparently cause this town is PERFECT there are no police? No officials? I don't know...and I didn't really care. The other issue was the reason behind the magic of this town is never fully explained, there is a creepy backstory about rats, that doesn't make any sense... Magical rats, maybe? ROUS??? Who knows, but that's it.
So I like/hated this book, not sure I recommend it, not sure I would read anything else by this author either.