Sixteen-year-old Ethan Wate has lived in the small town of Gatlin, South Carolina his whole life. Ethan's mom died in a car accident recently, so he lives alone with his dad and their long-time housekeeper, Amma. Ethan just bums around town, hanging out with his best friend, Link, playing basketball, and reading.
Aside from that, nothing ever happens in Gatlin. But that changes pretty quickly when Lena Duchannes rolls into town.
Ethan and Link spot Lena and her morbid motor on the way to school. Ethan's excited to meet the new girl—as a member of the Jackson High basketball team, Ethan is expected to date in his social circle. He's sick of these interchangeable cheerleaders, led by the insufferable Emily Asher, and he's dreaming of someone new, smart, and interesting. No, literally, he's dreaming of a new girl.
Ethan's been having mysterious dreams, dreams of a girl falling, and Ethan failing to save her. He loves this dream girl, even though he has no idea who she is. Weird.
Unfortunately for Lena, Ethan's the only one looking forward to meeting her. Gatlin doesn't take kindly to new folk, especially if they're different from the cookie-cutter template that seems to have stamped out all of Gatlin's residents. It doesn't help that Lena's the niece of the town shut-in, Macon Ravenwood.
Weird stuff starts happening: windows shatter, light bulbs short out, and Gatlin experiences the weirdest weather patterns this side of El Niño. All of this just intrigues Ethan more and more. And to top it all off, he recognizes Lena as the girl from his dreams.
Ethan struggles to get acquainted with Lena. Accustomed to being the outcast, she's reluctant to open up. But Ethan's persistent. Eventually, they experience quite the icebreaker: a shared flashback to Civil War-era Gatlin.
Will they end up together or not? Believe me, if they do it will be a myrical!
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