Title: Born at Midnight
Series: Shadow Falls #1
Author: C.C. Hunter
Publisher: St. Martin's Press Griffin
Available: Barnes and Noble
From the Publisher: Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams, Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen…
One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.
Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.
Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…
I started this series because my mom kept raving about it. Yep, my mom. And I reservations about it. Especially when the opening scene involved a parental fight where Kylie’s mom barbecued her husband’s underwear. I thought to myself, Do I really want to read something where the *adults* stoop to this level of immaturity? But I pushed through those pages – pages where Kylie’s parents decided she needed to be sent to a camp for troubled teens simply because she was upset about her parents were splitting up – and was quite pleasantly surprised.
In fact, the only parts I truly disliked about this whole series were the parts that included her parents (you do remember my thoughts about parents from my Shades of Earth review, right?).
Once Kylie got to the camp, she discovered that the camp was in fact not for troubled teens, but for supernatural teens. And that she herself is a supernatural. The only problem is that no one can figure out exactly what kind of supernatural she is. In this world, supernaturals can identify one another by looking at each other. But when they look at Kylie, they can’t tell. They know she’s something – but all Kylie feels like is FREAK (not to mention that she’s pretty much in denial about the whole idea in the first place, even though she can see and talk to ghosts).
One of my favorite things about this book is that there is an amazing adult role model. How often do we see this in a YA novel? Holiday, the leader of the camp, takes Kylie under her wing and mentors her. And she’s amazing. She wants to act like a parent, but she recognizes that’s she not. She allows Kylie to make her own decisions even when she doesn’t agree with them. She talks through the pros and cons with her. She holds her hand when she needs it. And she walks away when she needs to. She’s hands down my favorite adult in any YA series/novel.
The other supporting characters were also quite fun. Kylie’s cabin mates, Della and Miranda (vampire and witch, respectively) were hilarious. They fake.hated each other and their quibbles brought some much needed levity to many situations. Derek and Lucas were the formulaic boys at opposite ends of the spectrum for a love triangle. But I loved them both.
This is a perfect start to a series. The character development is top notch (though the world building could use the teensiest bit of help). I feel completely invested in Kylie and the other characters that I want to continue the journey with them and see what obstacles come next.