Due to her mother's recent move to Italy, 16-year-old Cynda is on the Maine coast to spend the next six months with her father, her stepmother, and her 5-year-old half-brother Todd. The family owns the Underhill Inn, an isolated old stone house that the locals say is haunted.
Cynda's father scoffs at the idea of the supernatural, but she is more inclined to believe. She settles into the household, though she longs for a closer relationship with her father, is uncomfortable with her young (read: home-wrecker) stepmother and is annoyed by her attention hog of a brother.
Although guests are unusual in January, a guest arrives. He's about thirty, mysterious, handsomer-than-handsome, a poet, sensitive, charming, and intelligent. Cynda is drawn to him -- and it seems that he is drawn to her, too. He is everything her family is not, and it seems that he offers what they do not -- he is attentive to her, he understands her...
But Vincent Morthanos is more than he appears, and while falling under his spell is all too easy, escaping it may be impossible.
I started Look For Me By Moonlight last night and woke up early this morning to finish it -- I got so into it that there was much yelling at the book and to Josh while reading the second half. (He was drinking coffee in the living room and, I suspect, only half listening.)
Some excerpts (of my yelling, not from the book -- and while I'm trying to avoid major spoilers, some can't be avoided):
Me: What the hell!? The father just said there are only two seasons in Maine, 11 months of winter and one month of summer! God.
Josh: A lot of people say that!
Me: But he left out mud season, blackfly season, tourist season... Then again, he isn't FROM here. He just moved here, like, ten years ago. So it's not like he's local.
I got over my Maine issues pretty early on, by the way -- once I realized that it was really only set here so it could be isolated and cold and could just have easily be set in Cornwall or Colorado (minus the coastal thing), I relaxed. Onward.
Me: This guy's name is Vincent Morthanos! If he's Death, I'll give him a pass for the name, but if he's a vampire, that totally means that he chose it for himself, and so he's a complete a-hole!
Josh: Man, why are you reading this book?
Me: What do you mean? It's awesome.
Me: EEEeeeeeeeeew! Ha ha ha. I LOVE THIS BOOK! Totally perfect for showing the utter creepiness of Edward Cullen. When the centuries-old guy looks thirty instead of seventeen, it's WAY GROSS instead of pretendy romantic. Yecch! I love it.
Josh: ... ... ...
Me: I mean, it's hilarious that this book is on, like, every Twilight readalike list out there, because it's pretty much the polar opposite. Oh man, I'm going to make all of the Twihards at the library read it. Heh heh heh.
Josh: ... ... ...
So OBVIOUSLY I enjoyed it. Hugely. I found Cynda hard to like at times -- selfish, self-absorbed and annoying, but I also felt like she felt like a real person, so that isn't a complaint -- if anything, it was nice to read about a heroine who was far from perfect. At first I had a hard time with her brother -- during the first half of the book, his dialogue reads like something out of a soap opera -- but due to the second half, I ultimately gave him higher-than-passing marks. I don't want to give away the reason. Her father was a jackass, and a bit of a stock character -- self-involved writer, frustrated by his melodramatic teenaged daughter -- but he works.
I always had trouble making friends, especially boyfriends. I'd been in love dozens of times, but it was always the unrequited kind. I'd fall for a boy because his eyes were the color of fog or his smile was as warm as candlelight or his laugh reminded me of sleighbells at Christmas. I'd worship him from across the library or the football field and then watch him fall in love with somebody else--a cheerleader or a gymnast or the star of the class play.
I'm not sure how Hahn made that rather shockingly ridiculous passage work, but she did. I think it's because Cynda's voice was spot-on -- I believed that Cynda would describe someone like that. I could easily imagine her writing really, really terrible fan fiction.
Book source: My local library.
I read this for the R.I.P. IV Challenge.