It's an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp—the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn't return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp's done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance—and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her.
This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance.
I really wanted to read this book because of it's very unique idea! And I did really end up enjoying this book!
After a fight, Sterling's brother, Phin, runs into the swamp. No one ever goes into the swamp, with good reason. Phin never comes out, but a girl named Lenora May does. Soon, Lenora May takes over Phin's life. Everyone, except Sterling has forgotten about Phin and believes that Lenora May is her sister. Even Sterling has memories of Lenora May that she knows never happened. Sterling has to figure out how to get Phin back and it's becoming difficult to convince people that she has a brother, not a sister. Though, a boy in her class knows exactly what she's going through, as his friend was forgotten as well, and together they might be able to figure it out.
I love, love, love the premise of this story! There are a lot of books centered around rescuing the MC's sibling, which actually is a good thing as it shows the importance of family, but this book twisted it around in an entirely different way. Not only does Sterling's brother go missing, but someone else takes his place and everyone forgets about her brother. This would be extremely hard, and it is for Sterling. She knows she has a brother and everyone has forgotten about him, even her parents and his best friends. Honestly, it's very sad and frightening.
The premise with the swamp goes further and further as the book goes on. Basically, it gets weirder and weirder. I don't know how I feel about it. I love the weirdness, but there were points when it just got a bit confusing. All in all, the weirdness did add a lot more uniqueness to the book.
Sterling, our main character, is your pretty average YA heroine, so I don't really have that much to say about her. She does stay strong in this book and continues to remember her brother, which is very difficult. She makes some reckless decisions, but that is to be expected. Heath helps her out in this book. Without Heath, she would have probably continued to tell people that she doesn't have a sister, which is what she was doing before Heath.
Romance was okay. It didn't distract from the main plot, which I love, but it didn't really evoke any feeling from me.
Overall, this was a very strange book that I oddly liked! The premise was very new and interesting and was treated well. If you want to read a unique paranormal standalone, this is a great book!