The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams, published by Simon and Schuster on 26th April 2012
After spending six hundred years on Earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world's riches but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to take the bodies of other humans from jumping from one vessel to the next, ending the human's life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she's done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.
Then sixteen-year old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body while trying to save her. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she's inhabiting--and falling in love with the boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she's his again, and every moment she stays, she's putting herself and the people she's grown to care about in danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?
When I first heard about this book the synopsis reminded me a little bit of the Immortals series by Alyson Noel. As I started reading it and as the storyline and characters developed, it held a charm and brilliance all of it's own.
Sera is an immortal. She has to keep switching bodies as each one will only last for so many years. Saved by her boyfriend Cyrus she's lived this existence for hundreds of years but decides at the beginning of the story that she wants to die rather than take another body. That obviously doesn't happen and after a tragic accident, she finds herself in the body of sixteen year old Kailey. The story follows Sera as she adjusts to her new life and gains a family, friends and cute boy next door.
That cute boy next door is called Noah and was definite romance material. I loved Noah and enjoyed seeing how Sera interacted with him which is harder tfor her than you'd think because she's trying to be true to herself as well as impersonating the person everyone believes her to be. I can definitely foresee some road bumps along the way for the two of them.
I would have liked to have known more about Sera's first life with Cyrus and what really caused his character and personality to change. He came across as quite sweet in the beginning so I found myself wanting to know if he'd always had an evil and vindictive streak inside. The way Sera was so afraid of him and the way he sets about hunting her down was chilling and pretty scary at times. I would also have liked Williams to have dealt more with the elixir itself and how it creates immortals as there's very little explanation of how this came into fruition in the first place.
My only real complaint with this book was that it seemed too short! I would have liked it to have been double the length as it was addictive reading. The ending was one of those moments that you can't believe has just happened and has left me on absolute tenterhooks. I need to know what's going to happen next and I need to know now!