Published October 8th 2013
Published by Viking
At seventeen, Avaline Hall has already buried her mother, survived a horrific factory fire, and escaped from an insane asylum. Now she’s on her way to Blythewood Academy, the elite boarding school in New York’s mist-shrouded Hudson Valley that her mother attended—and was expelled from. Though she’s afraid her high society classmates won’t accept a factory girl in their midst, Ava is desperate to unravel her family’s murky past, discover the identity of the father she’s never known, and perhaps finally understand her mother’s abrupt suicide. She’s also on the hunt for the identity of the mysterious boy who rescued her from the fire. And she suspects the answers she seeks lie at Blythewood.
But nothing could have prepared her for the dark secret of what Blythewood is, and what its students are being trained to do. Haunted by dreams of a winged boy and pursued by visions of a sinister man who breathes smoke, Ava isn’t sure if she’s losing her mind or getting closer to the truth. And the more rigorously Ava digs into the past, the more dangerous her present becomes.
Vivid and atmospheric, full of mystery and magic, this romantic page-turner by bestselling author Carol Goodman tells the story of a world on the brink of change and the girl who is the catalyst for it all.
Everything changes when Avaline Hall joins the Blythewood Academy. Things are never what they seem and the secrets from her mother's past will expose the dark history buried in Blythewood. Part Historical Fiction and part Paranormal Romance, Blythewood is one of those books that is deliciously addicting until the very last page.
My one complain is that this book is little of a slow burn. Things don't pick up until about halfway through so plan accordingly. I didn't get desperate or annoyed because this is the first book in the series. Everything has to be set up so not a whole lot of action happens in the first one hundred pages or so. But then, exciting details are revealed and everything starts falling into place. Also, I'm not a huge fan of love triangles and there is one in this series. I haven't read the last book yet but, so far, it isn't overpowering or annoying.
I like the characters (one that dies really early on in particular) and I really enjoyed the world. This has a "forbidden love" aspect to it that I really liked as well. None of the characters are fully developed yet but I already read Ravencliffe and EVERYTHING is better. I got through that book in about two days and there's never a dull moment. So, heads up, the series gets better and better.
I was a little nervous going into this because I figured that I wasn't the target audience. I wasn't even aware that these books existed so I didn't have a lot to go by. However, I enjoyed the story, romance, characters, all of the action, and I'm really excited to find out how this series ends!