California teen, Sadie James, thinks her life couldn’t get any better. She has great friends, an energetic mother she adores, and the beach practically in her own backyard. But her carefree life is turned upside down when she’s rescued by a mysterious and strangely familiar boy who won’t even tell her his name.
Each time the boy appears, Sadie’s unexplainable attraction to him deepens along with her need to unravel his secrets. The boy is there to protect her. But as wonderful and exciting as it might be to have an irresistible boy with crystal green eyes protecting her every move, every minute of the day…why does Sadie need one?
As Sadie finds answers, she realizes her life isn’t as perfect as she thought. Not only is she caught in a world of dangerous secret agents she never knew existed, but it turns out her true identity may be the greatest secret of all.
This book has an interesting idea behind it. A group of otherworldly agents who travel throughout the world healing the sick by means of special healing waters. Sadie is connected to healing water in a way she’s never known and certainly doesn’t understand, but she knows something isn’t right. Then a mysterious stranger—a boy from her dreams with crystal green eyes—shows up every time she’s in trouble and somehow makes things okay.
This book had a lot of potential, and I admit I was very excited to read it. The cover, the copy on the back, and the great reviews on Goodreads were all great.While it had the fairly common normal-girl-falls-for-mysterious-newcomer-boy outline, the “secret agent” aspect was intriguing and seemed to promise something new. Unfortunately, the book didn’t quite live up to my expectations.
It had some definite strong points—a few pieces of “technology” that I thought were interesting, some very true-feeling friend drama, and some nice descriptions of landscapes*, to name a few. But for the most part, I felt like this book just wasn’t finished. The background story needed flushing out, as did the characters themselves—there was very little that made Sadie Sadie, very little that distinguished her from any other teenage girl. We don’t what her interests are, what her weaknesses are—we don’t even know what her favorite subject in school is. All we know is that she thinks her life is perfect—but she gets sad for no reason, and that she’s never felt much of anything for any guy—until her mystery man shows up, and then she’s so head-over-heels in love she can’t control herself.
I have to admit, the writing was very much like stuff I scribbled in my journal at seventeen, so in one sense it was very real… but at the same time, it too felt underdone. Details are skipped over and many things are told rather than shown. The whole story seems to be happening to Sadie—instead of being an active part of the story, she lets Rayne take her by the hand and lead her down a path. Her slowness to question red flags often left me frustrated.
I’m sorry to say that I didn’t particularly like this book. I wanted to. I really wanted to. I even feel badly that I’ve been asked to write a review, because I don’t want Ms. Anderson to be discouraged by what I say—I just want her to know that her book could have been better. It could have been more fleshed out, and it could have been sharpened.
Funnily enough, what I enjoyed most about the book were the things that Sadie couldn’t wait to get away from—the normal teenage things. I thought that the dialogue and the jealousies between the teens Sadie hung out with were very true to teenagers, and felt very natural. I almost wish the book had been a straight contemporary about the difficulties of high school. It would have been interesting to read a book about a teen who had bouts of depression even though she thought she had a great life—more interesting, I think, than having most of her emotions influenced by things outside her control.
But that’s just my two cents.It really does have great reviews on Goodreads.
*Though I have to say, as a San Diego native I thought her version of California was sadly TV-version stereotypical, but I suppose Anderson grew up where the stereotype was the rule? My high school was nothing like a “sea of blonde,” personally. Just sayin’.
I was provided with a copy of this book for review. It did not influence my review in any way.