The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong. The first book in the Darkness Rising series.
Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town - from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend's hidden talent for "feeling" out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya's biological parents and it's easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.
In The Gathering , New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong brings all the supernatural thrills from her wildly successful Darkest Powers series to Darkness Rising, her scorching hot new trilogy. (taken from Goodreads)
Thoughts:So...although I'd already read part of this series this was my first time reading this book. Why? Because I picked up the second book and read it without realizing it was the second for a little while. Oops. And then I just didn't feel like reading the first one. Big mistake. With the third book coming out a couple weeks ago, I wanted to reread the second and finally read the first book. And I loved both.
The story starts off with the stunning drowning of Maya's best friend. Fast forward and it's about a year later. There is a hot new guy-Rafe-in their secluded town and things have started to get weird. See, Maya and her friends live in a secluded Canadian town called Salmon Creek. There the St.Clouds have hired trustworthy people to work at their drug lab, it's secluded so they won't get into any trouble and no one can steal their ideas. Or so they were told. Now there is a reporter snooping around and hinting to strange things. Maya isn't so sure that her friend's death was an accident and that everything the St. Clouds are doing is...well safe. Not only that but Rafe is also starting to act a little strange. And it all started when an elderly lady at a tattoo shop called her a witch after seeing her birthmark. With the help of her friend, Daniel, she is determined to get the bottom of everything.
Pros:This book is really exciting. From the first page to the last (especially the last ones :D) the pace had been set and never really stopped. I was continually interested not only in the mystery of what the St.Clouds were doing but also what was going with the relationships between the characters. I mean they've known each other (most of them) their whole lives! When all these secrets come up it's interesting to see how those they thought they knew turn out to be totally the opposite. Maybe. *winks* Daniel, Maya's best friend, is a great guy and one of my favorite characters. He's strong, smart, a leader, and like a best friend/protector/older brother all rolled into one. Sort of...there is something more there. Maya is also a great, snarky, honest character. Who recognizes her flaws and faces them. And she has a cool power...which I'm not going to spoil. Rafe is a fun character and I liked him as well. He's tough and he sometimes leans into a persona instead of being honest, but it's because he's wary.
Cons:(including content here) There is some language (60 words) and some interesting supernatural powers(shape shifting is the mainly mentioned one). But other than that there was nothing else that really bothered me. There is violence, but that just makes it more exciting, to me. You know a murder, an accident...ooh interesting :D
Overall, this was a really interesting book and enjoyed it a lot. It's a great adventure. There are great characters. It's a thrilling book that I would recommend it to teen girls who like adventurous, exciting books with fun and seriousness mixed all together :)