I love reading everything from fantasy to historical romances. On a constant quest for more books to read.
Ava Nolan grew up in the shadow of her father's obsession with macabre artifacts. An elixir brewed from witches’ blood. A cabinet of mummified cats. And Arabella's Curse, the missing prize in his collection: a ruby with the power to resurrect the dead. With a father who resents her existence, a dead-end job, and her expulsion from school to live down, Ava sets out to recover the ruby and reclaim her self-respect. Luckily for Ava, local legend says the ruby is buried in a crumbling mansion by the sea, not far from her new home.
But life as an amateur relic hunter is not without its share of emergency room visits. Or cutthroat competitors. And nearly plummeting to her death doesn’t terrify Ava half as much as her uncle, a gentleman grave robber with a vendetta against her father and sinister plans for the ruby.
Entangled in a web of family treachery, Ava finds solace with a lonely boy who fills her nights with stolen kisses and her head with ruby lore. But there's something strange about Ben Wolcott. He's a bit too cunning, a bit too preoccupied with keeping Ava out of his basement, and much too interested in Arabella's Curse.
Ava Nolan feels that her life is a wreck.Scratch that ...she is a wreck.
Kicked out of high school one month before graduation and now she as far as away from the bright lights of California as she can get,the small town of Eckhart out in the middle of nowhere.
Not to mention living in a house that was the scene of a multiple homocide.
Her family is the epitome of dysfunctional.There father who is an out of work scholar who does his research in the occult and the weird.He keeps himself locked inside his study most of the time with his papers and memories of his dead wife, while her brother Cam a borderline sociopath spends his days doing god knows what. Its good that he is devoted to her.
And then there is Ava herself. At least her mother is not around anymore to torment her physically and mentally,and of course the uncle her father hates with a passion is always just a call away.
When a local young man named Ben Wolcott turns up at their house and is soundly beaten by Cam because Ava thought he was a peeping tom,in fact he was lookin for their father and soon ingratiates himself with him because he claims to know where a priceless ruby called "Arabellas curse" is.
Because there is money needed for food and other expenses(and her father is near broke) Ava takes a job at a local diner. Much to her dismay Ben also works there and now she is his subordinate. Ava is not happy
She learns out from Ben where the ruby might be that if she find "Arabellas curse" and give it as a gift to her father,then he is bound to be proud and he will surely love her again. As he used once.
This book is a little messed up. The citizens of Eckhart find Ava strange and they are not really much more stable. I kept hoping someone "normal" or at least with more balanced personality a would turn up and even things out...but I guess thats part of the message the author wanted to convey. We are all a bit messed up
I felt the book was at it strongest when it dealt with the more realistic issues memories of an abusive mother who still hauntes her memories,a distant father and false friends. The general confusion of teenage years but multiplied times ten.
When it comes to the supernatural elements it doesnt engage as much. Sure there are a few scare moments that are umm scary,but the biggest monsters are inside peoples minds.
But the strenght of this book exists on the spirit of Ava ,her zest keeps the book going -Sure shes plenty messed up and she makes bad decisions and people frequently call her out on her bad girl behavior.
The harshest critic of Ava however is Ava herself she wants to be the good girl but more people pay attention when she is bad and when things get really messed up she starts to wonder if its not better to embrace it and live up or in this case down to everyones expectations of her.
The ending is one of those that I couldnt decide was the awesomest or the most depressing. On one hand it shows that Ava has become a strong person and on the other its somewhat depressing. Maybe its both.