I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl--Isabel, the one the senoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill. Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers--and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.
I am still not sure how I feel about this one. I didn't hate it, but I didn't really love it either. The setting was awesome. It was set in Puerto Rico and the details were so vivid that I really felt like I was there. I also loved the writing.
The problem was the story. It wasn't really what I thought it would be. The premise made it sound like the book would be magical and kind of like a fantasy, but what I got was more of a contemporary mystery. Lucas finds out pretty early that there is no girl with green skin and grass for hair, just an ordinary girl who is trapped inside because of a weird illness. Then there are girls who disappear, one of them being Lucas's kind of girlfriend. I didn't really feel his pain there, mainly because he admitted at the beginning of the book that he had only known her a short time. So I am supposed to believe he is desperate to find her? Suuuure, whatever you say.
Then he thinks the girls who disappear may or may not have something to do with Isabel, the mysterious girl in the house. Her illness was never really explained and maybe that part was kind of a fantasy. Apparently, she had poison inside her and she had to stay near her dad's plants to stay live. And if she touched someone, she made them sick. Yeah, I didn't really get that either and that is never really explained in the book so don't get your hopes up for an explanation. The resolution of the mystery was kind of anti-climactic, mainly because I didn't care that much. That, and the fact that the resolution still makes no sense. It was weird.
The problem with this story was that I never fully connected to the characters and while the writing was beautiful, the plot was kind of all over the place and it had a lot going on. The dad was never there (of course) and the mom was dead and there were missing girls and there was a cop trying to find something to charge Lucas with because she hated him or something and there was the whole mysterious illness thing. I had so much trouble keeping my head in this story. It was not nearly as good as it could have been.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip this one.