where I got my copy: Around the World ARC Tours
release date: July 13, 2010
Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything—the dark, heights, the ocean—but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is, until Justine goes cliff-diving one night near the family’s vacation house in Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.
Though her parents hope that they’ll be able to find closure back in Boston, Vanessa can’t help feeling that her sister’s death wasn’t an accident. After discovering that Justine was keeping a lot of secrets, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor, hoping that Justine’s boyfriend might know more. But Caleb has been missing since Justine’s death.
Soon, it’s not just Vanessa who’s afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes host to a string of fatal, water-related accidents in which all the victims are found, horrifically, grinning from ear to ear.
Vanessa turns to Caleb’s brother, Simon, for help, and begins to find herself drawn to him. As the pair try to understand the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance—and will change her life forever.
The first chapter of the story introduced me to Vanessa and Justine Sands. Two sisters who spend their every summer at Winter Harbor. People have high hopes for Justine, she was to set foot and study at Dartmouth that coming school year, her younger sister looks up to her. She's beautiful, clever, fearless and the perfect sister. Whereas, Vanessa (the younger sister) was a wimp. I'm sorry... but she really is she's afraid of the dark and gets paranoid that a vampire or some monster is waiting for her to fall asleep and then snatch her or kill her, she's afraid to speak her mind, etc... It's not that she's insecure she was just plain scared. This particular summer she promised herself to be bold. To start off, she promised herself to actually jump when Justine and Caleb go cliff diving at Chione Cliffs the next time. But time has ran out to do anything bold together with her sister. After Justine argued with their mother about her adventures and about hanging out with Caleb she stormed out of their cottage and the next day was found dead. The newspaper and the people in the area ruled it out as a suicide. Distraught, guilty and missing her sister Vanessa did not believe that Justine would do that, she's an adrenaline junkie not a moron and definitely not suicidal, she would know better than to cliff dive at night. She could not believe any of it. She is not really thinking murder but there is something that she cannot put her finger on it. What happened to her sister she's not satisfied with it. So she decided to go back to Winter Harbor to investigate. This is when I started warming up to her...
Before Justine died, Vanessa could smell the scent of salt water on her skin and for some reason that got imprinted on her mind, especially right after she died. It was like following her. Was it Justine? Or is it her inner wimp trying to scare her? Then she started seeing a light too and then other images and sometimes voices that sound like Justine. I find this really interesting because if I were as wimpy as her I would immediately thought of a ghost but she never seem to think that way at the beginning. Or maybe when someone close to you dies even if they are haunting you, you wouldn't get scared? hmmm...
So anyway her first investigation will be to talk to Caleb and see if her sister was hanging out with him that night but he wasn't there, his older brother Simon said he's been missing since the day his brother talked to the police. Where could he be? So Simon & Vanessa set out to find the missing Caleb. At the course of their search male bodies started getting ashed ashore, drowned with a creepy grin on their face, like the cause of their death was worth it.
The creepy story is of course with a supernatural cause, what kind of a supernatural creature it is? you'll have to find that out yourself. I like the book despite some loose ends and unsatisfactory ending. There is a romance but the story does not revolve around it and that suited me fine. It has a haunting tale full of unexpected twists. Is this a series? because I'd love to find out what happens next.