Dark Heart Forever by Lee Monroe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Book 1 in the Dark Heart series
I don't really know what to say about this book, I really don't! I loved it- by the end, but it did take me a long while to get into it. I have wavered at times about whether or not this book is a three star or a four star or a four and half star title, and I still don't know! In this book we have a whole variety of our favourite paranormal misfits from werewolves and vampires to witches and fallen angels, but it isn't immediately obvious who is who, and who can be trusted. There is also a whole alternate dimension- a completely other magical world called Nissilum that the main character Jane can travel to.
I think the main story of this book is set somewhere in the UK, but the place is never really elaborated on- just that they live on a mountain. However Jane is studying for her GCSEs, and talks about pounds and pence, which makes me think that it's the UK. BUT then they say that the car "ran out of gas" which no-one that I know would say, you'd say you ran out of petrol. And Jane starts learning to drive at 16 (I just realised that I'm waffling...)
Jane is plain and a little dull. She avoids school and hanging out with kids her own age after being bullied and prefers to spend time with her immediate family, especially her little sister Dot. Before her 16th birthday Jane starts sleep walking and having dreams about a boy with vivid green eyes. When Jane turns 16 she suddenly has two gorgeous guys both vying for her attention. I'm possibly a little cynical about the reality of this happening (or just jealous) because this has never happened to me! So starts the love triangle between Jane and two guys Evan and Luca. Evan is the new guy in town, an australian surfer type who has run away from home and his drunken mother. He doesn't really like to talk about himself, but is interested in getting to know Jane, and spends time helping out and getting to know her parents. Evan is also very cute and good with Jane's sister Dot. Around the same time, Jane also meets Luca- the green-eyed boy from her dreams. Jane has the opportunity to go to Nissilum with Luca to meet his family and attend a ball full of witches, vampires and werewolves. I liked Luca as a character, he was sweet and kind but also brave when he needed to be. He cares about Jane as a friend but accepts that they cannot be together because he lives in a parallel world. There is a lot of mystery around both boys and we don't find out much about them until late in the book when true colours start to be revealed...
Even though I'm not sure if I loved this book or not, if you asked me if I would read the sequel (Dark Heart Rising out 2nd June 2011 in the UK) the answer is a definite yes. This book is mysterious and romantic with a hint of danger, and some unexpected twists. We get a glimpse into another magical and fascinating world. I feel like the relationship aspect of the story is just getting started (I'm not going to tell you with who), but also I would like to read more to find out some more about the magical world of Nissilum.