Lexi is a teenage girl who idolises her dead father. She lives with her baker mother and little sister, Wren.
Lexi's father seemed like a very generous and tolerant man and the memories she has of him made his loss seem quite real for their small family.
His brother Otto has stepped in as their and the town's "Protector" but he lacks his brother's open mindedness.
Near is a small village with a legend about a witch who was killed by three men long ago. They have a creepy council of three men who don't seem to do much but be creepy. Otto and his friend Bo on the other hand puff and posture and decide to blame a Stranger when children start to go missing from their beds. There's even some framing to be had despite their dogged belief that the Stranger must have taken the kids.
I read some very good reviews about this book that point out some of its flaws. It is true there is no big mystery to solve here. It's quite clear from the book jacket who is causing these children to disappear.
I'm not sure if that was even intended to be a secret from us. The book was more about being tolerant to those who are different than you and how village culture can be poisoned.
It isn't groundbreaking stuff either but the book was very well written and paced. The community and why they were that way was no mystery to me.
The creepy relationship she had with Tyler was more affecting than the romantic one she had with Cole.
I felt exactly why Tyler turned her off. I chalked up her love to Cole being she wanted to save him and because her village hated him so much he became irresistible.
My twin and I wondered in our teenage years why girls would flirt with the ugliest teachers or boys at work. We reasoned it down to there not being a whole lot to choose from.