Author: Margot Berwin
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Pantheon (Jan. 29, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Paranormal
My Rating: 3 Stars
Evangeline is eighteen years old when her grandmother gives her the ultimate gift-a scent she has created just for her. From the moment Eva places a drop on her neck, her entire life changes. Previously unnoticed, she becomes the object of intense desire for everyone around her. Men dance close to her; women dip their noses deep into her hair; even the cats outside her bedroom cry to be near her. Gabriel, the quiet student Eva has admired from afar, falls head-over-heels in love with her. But soon the gift begins to control Eva's life: strangers follow her around, sniffing and touching her at every turn. When Eva meets Michael, an artist who barely registers her smell, Eva wonders if he is the one person who can love her for herself. Or is her scent impossible to escape? A bewitching, wildly imaginative novel steeped in the mythology of perfume, Scent of Darkness seduces the reader's every sense.
I wasn't too sure I was going to like this book after I read the first couple of chapters. It wasn't at all what I thought it was going to be after reading the synopsis. It had a dark feel to it, almost depressing and was slightly morbid in thought.
But really, should I have been surprised? I mean the title of the book is Scent of Darkness after all. But I kept reading on because I couldn't help myself. It had me curious and we all know what happens to those of us that are curious. It never went well for the cat...
I really wish this review was one of those that came easy to me but in truth, it wasn't. In fact I am still having a hard time putting into words my thoughts on this one, even as I type. I guess you could say I am just winging it with this one.
I don't want to give anything away and that will be hard to do but, mostly, this book left me feeling slightly off kilter. It was bizarre but in all the right ways. And like I mentioned already, much more dark than I thought it would be.
Evangeline was a curious girl. Slightly broken and definitely strange. I am still not sure if I liked her. She made some bad choices, choices she knew would hurt those she loved and yet, she didn't want to make them. She was compelled to, whether by the supernatural or by circumstance or maybe it was all just in her head, either way, she had a lot to learn and learn she did as her journey took place throughout the story.
I will say this, strangely, I loved Louise. She tried to teach Eva as best she could and sometimes it ended in disaster and sometimes those disasters ended up being blessings in disguise. I liked her riddles and rhythms. It added a slightly different element to the story and really made me think about what she was trying to show Eva, what she wanted her so desperately to see and know.
And my second favorite, Levon. He was a smart boy. He too was strange and mysterious and also broken.
Really this tale, in all its darkness, in all its strangeness and bizarre happenings, was so very New Orleans.
And even though it was hard to see the lessons being told sometimes, in the end, it was clear what they were.