Another one of those "almost wanted to give up in the beginning" type books. Let me explain before you think I'm saying this wasn't a good book.
The first 6 chapters have so little to actually do with the story line I almost thought there was a publishing error at one point. I read so much about orchids and the proper care, feeding, watering and cross pollination of them I could very well work in a green house now. It seemed that was most of what the first several chapters were focused on. What you do get out of this flower information, and what I assume the author was going for with it, is great character development that you would be lost with out. Still a bit heavy on the flower talk.
The best way I can explain the book as a whole is like this: Those first 6 chapters are like the upward clime of a roller coaster which has only one drop. Everything after is the whirlwind ride, screaming to the bottom. The story after those chapters, comes flying at you so fast, and with so much momentum you can't put the book down. And just like a roller coaster with one descent would make you feel, you feel a bit rushed and a little ripped off at the end.
The ending is good - but I turned the page hoping for more. I read so many little things that when the wonderful stuff rolled in I couldn't get enough and it was just gone too fast.
This book is clearly set up for a sequel, The Away will be released in 2011 and I am really anxious to read it. I am really glad there will be one, I feel like now that we have all the "filler" out of the way we can jump right in with both feet for book 2, get to the good stuff and not be wasting any time.
This book gets a 3.5 bird rating (that's become common lately too) Too much filler at the beginning for me, and not enough story took off a Full Bird. Basic advice on this one, if you don't like cliffhangers, wait for the sequel then read them together. This book took me all of 4 hours to get through, but it was a well spent 4 hours! A perfect little escape.