The summary of APATHY really intrigued me because I am a sucker for books about small towns with big secrets (although it's SO vague! It doesn't tell me anything about the book! Tell me about the boooook!). At first, I was really into it, though. The heroine, Skylar, is damaged and messy and kind of traumatized. She's sleeping with someone who's using her and providing her with the drugs she's addicted to. The town is hiding something sinister that nobody talks about, but that results in burned down buildings and bodies.
DUN, DUN, DUN.
Then we meet the hero, Ash. Ash, like the heroine, is descended from one of the founding families. But unlike the others, his has fallen from grace and he's here for revenge. Falling for Skylar doesn't really factor into his plans but he's not the kind of guy who plays by the rules. He's the kind of guy who is, shall we say, apathetic to the rules. So pretty soon she and him have a thing going on, and it's a path of hookups and messy parties as they work their way towards revenge. Also there's another guy who's interested in Skylar named Kane, and there's sort of a thing there, too. Omg, so much drama, Bizarro CW-style!
Like I said, the beginning was pretty good. But I feel like the author was trying a little too hard to make this book edgier than it needed to be. Sometimes less is more. I also wish she'd led with the whole cult angle because it's so obvious what's going on from the beginning that it doesn't make sense to play coy. Especially since Skylar grew up immersed in it, so it's not like it's a secret. The unreliable narrator device can work in books like these, but for that to be the case, I think Skylar might have had to either (a) have some sort of dissociative amnesia or (b) be taking way harder and more frequent drugs. I also didn't really love how quick the romance between Ash and Skylar moved. I get that they're in high school but I didn't really understand the connection between them, especially since Ash is as forceful as Skylar's abuser and she's so damaged... I don't know, for her sake, I just wanted her to find someone who at least made her feel more protected if he was going to use her so rough. :'(
I might have liked this more if I hadn't read RITUAL SINS and A PALE SHADOW first (by Anne Stuart and Heather Crews, respectively). I love a good book about creepy twisted cults and this one was almost there, but I just didn't love the romance enough to want to continue. I'm really picky about my dark romances though and this book seems to have found a loyal following, so it might just be me.
2 to 2.5 out of 5 stars