Author: Natasha Preston
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire August 4, 2015
Format: ARC via Netgalley
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Scarlett lives what she considers to be a pretty normal life, except for the fact that she can’t remember anything that happened before she was five years old. Her parents tell her it’s a result of the trauma she suffered when their house burned down and she never questioned that. She has tried to remember but never had any success. That is until a recent car accident caused her to start remembering little things that don’t make any sense to her. Around this same time she meets a new boy at school, Noah. He’s sweet and theirs an instant attraction. What Scarlett doesn’t realize is that there’s another reason she doesn’t remember those first five years…she grew up in a cult named Eternal Light. The cult is run by her biological parents and Noah is part of that cult.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, it’s not like anything I’ve ever read before. I was also surprised to find that the chapters sometimes switched between Scarlett and Noah’s point of view. They stuck mostly to Scarlett’s point of view and I was surprised to find myself enjoying the occasional Noah chapters. I felt like they really added some much needed perspective to the story. The more I read the more I realized this was just as much Noah’s story as it was Scarlett’s. I’ve never read a book where the plot involved a cult and I wasn’t sure what to expect but I felt the Noah chapters really helped with my understanding of the cult and it’s beliefs. What made it so interesting is we got a chance to know people who were in the cult, people who weren’t in the cult any longer, and Noah who felt like he fell somewhere in between.
I loved that as Scarlett and Noah’s relationship gets stronger there’s a real mystery as to how it’s going to end. Pretty quickly we find out he’s keeping a GIANT secret from her and I couldn’t imagine how it could possibly have a happy ending. Then there’s her family and the secret’s their keeping from her. There’s a steady buildup that leads to some pretty amazing revelations and it became more than just a story of young love. It makes you think about the difference between secrets and lies…are either ever acceptable from those you love? What would you be able to forgive?
As if all that emotional turbulence wasn’t enough, the latter part of the book gives us a much closer look into the inner workings of Eternal Light. Without giving too much away I found it fascinating! Not to mention we get some amazing action and some major twists. I thought this was a wonderful story about the power of love and forgiveness and the obstacles that you can overcome. Once I got into it, I could not put this book down. It has a little bit of everything: secrets, lies, romance, action, mystery, and so much more!