How I wanted to dive headfirst into this storyworld! Rutherford's lush description of Endla was utterly captivating. A poison lake and a bloodthirsty forest--what more could I want in an atmospheric tale. The story started off so strong as well. I instantly connected with Leelo and her love of family, and I felt my heart breaking with hers as she had to say goodbye to Tate.
Unfortunately, the chapters with Jaren just fell flat for me. As he was cooped up in the cabin for most of the book, it felt like his chapters were the same over and over again--how he wished he could see Leelo, almost to the point where it sounded like an unhealthy obsession.
And the ending fell flat for me as well. I could easily forgive Jaren's lackluster chapters as secret after secret in Leelo's family was revealed, and I felt myself reading faster and faster, so excited to see the end and what would happen. Her relationship with Sage and Ketty and even her own mother was fascinating, and the world of Endla just felt so vast and real. But that ending . . . without giving spoilers, I'll just say it felt very rushed and summarized and left me wanting.
But even after the disappointing ending, I would recommend this book because of it's absolutely lush worldbuilding and Leelo herself. She was an excellent main character!