Firelight by Sophie Jordan
Release Date: September 7, 2010
Reading level: Young Adult
A hidden truth.
Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.
Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.
Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.
-- from Randombuzzers.com
This was the first YA book I had read with dragons written in this way and I was completely fascinated by the idea. The world was so expertly built and woven together that I was able to fall completely into it to the point that I was up all night reading this so that I could finish it. I had to know what was going to happen and each page propelled me further into the story and the world.
The characters were brilliantly distinct and multi-layered in ways that I found to be a lot more mature (in some respects) than the majority of YA novels I've read recently. I felt like I was in the fantastically & inventively imagined world with Jacinda and because of how intimate her voice was in the writing, I sometimes felt like I WAS Jacinda. Her relationship with Will was well-written and took me back to feelings I had back in high school when I was discovering love for the first time. That fluttery, nervous feeling I hadn't felt in so many years. So much fun!
One thing I found a little difficult to get around was the separation of the twin sisters in the way it was written -- it didn't seem natural to me -- but then who knows how one sister being a dragon and the other not would affect real people. I hope that this relationship is explored more in depth and better formed in the sequel, Vanish, which I cannot wait to read.
This was such an excellent book. It was such an intense read that I was sad to send it back to library! I highly recommend it to everyone who loves fantasy elements in reality or really acute romantic tension. Read it! No, really. Now!