It would be easy to say this book is about Ethan and Lena, in love, and dealing with overwhelming obstacles. But that short-changes the book. There's so much more, and with a book that has this much depth, it's hard to know where to start.
Lena is an outsider in more ways than one - she's new to town, which is Gatlin - a small Southern town that never changes. The town, and the school, refuses to accept her - except Ethan can't stay away from her. As he is pulled towards her, he becomes an outsider.
There's magic - Lena is the niece of reclusive Macon, and Ethan discovers that they have powers, as do others in their family. And Lena seems to be more powerful than any of them. As her 16th birthday draws closer, she grows more and more terrified of the future.
There's history - the town of Gatlin has many layers, from the forceful and formidable DAR to the Civil War fanatics who recreate a battle each year.
And there's family - Ethan's mother who died, his father who can't seem to overcome his grief, Amma who is his caregiver. And his friend Linc, who is much like a brother to him and who stays by his side.
This is a wonderfully written book, and well-worth the read.