Emmeline is wayward – at least, that’s what everyone in her settlement thinks. Someday she’ll slip down a slope and fall headfirst into something dark and sinful, like her grandmother. That’s why she and her whole family have a stain. Add in an injured foot, and Emmeline isn’t the most popular resident of her settlement. The woods surrounding the settlers are strange and dark, but they call to her. Her dreams turn feverish, beckoning her to come closer, to discover the secrets the council wants to hide. But having a stain on her already marks her as one to watch, and she can’t be too careful. She doesn’t want to end up at the crossroads like her grandmother, hung in a cage to die in the elements.
So when Emmeline discovers a secret in the forest, she must decide who to trust. Kane, the handsome boy from the other side of the colony? Her lifelong friend, who has his own secrets to hide? And when one of the leaders of her colony asks for her hand in marriage, she must decide: truth, or the chance at clearing her and her family’s stain forever.
WINTERKILL is fantastic. I ripped through this book in two sessions, devouring the pages. I was spooked, I was intrigued, I was hooked from page one. Emmeline is perfectly sixteen. She’s courageous and curious and she’s looking for love in all the presumably wrong places. The setting is new and powerfully stark, and the voice of the protagonist is pitch perfect. Emmeline draws you in to her world and never lets you go. I ordered the second book as soon as I was finished. You will too!