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I went back and forth before settling on 5 stars. The ending felt a bit rushed for me, but the world she created, the fact that I forgot I was reading most of the time, bumped it up to a five star rating for me.
The characters were amazingly done. Realistically so. Not a single one was perfectly perfect and one died trying to be. I hated when she doubted Finny, but I felt it rang true to making the story plausible. Blind faith is one thing, but, especially when you are a teenager, when everyone is telling you something about someone you start feel that there must be some truth behind it. She rallied, though, and stuck to her own beliefs and feelings about him, which nearly made me cheer out loud for them. :)
I love the Gothic feel Brenna adds to her books. She brings the story alive through writing such amazing characters and having the ability to put you there. I think without the heat wave and dead bird epidemic the mood of the book would not have been nearly as bleak or haunting for me.
The ending went a bit faster paced than the rest of the book. But man, did you see that coming? I didn't. Despite being slightly disappointed with the resolution just being flung at me, I am keeping it at five stars. I just felt her writing, the world she created and the rabbit hole (ha!) I was able to go down that kept me forgetting I wasn't actually there made up for that one flaw. :)
Definitely a great book club book, for sure. I'm already looking forward to her next one, although I imagine I have quite a wait. :( At least they're worth the wait!