This book was not what I expected at all. I had read a lot of reviews about it on some blogs I followed and it sounded so interesting but I was totally caught off guard, in a good way.
Hanna's father passed away and she has been living with an aunt. After a big blow out with her aunt, Hanna hitchhikes to Portero, Texas where Rosalee, the mother who abandonned her lives. When Hanna arrives in Portero she finds a hostile town riddled with monster where outsiders are unwelcome. Hanna strikes a bargain with Rosalee, if she can fit in, she can stay.
This book is exactly the kind of character driven work I like Hanna is an interesting protagonist to say the least. She's diagnosed as a manic depressive and she does have some bouts of depression in the book, I found myself wondering if her hallucinations were really hallucinations or a manifestation of her relation to Rosalee and the town of Portero. Especially since these hallucinations allowed her to do things many of the locals couldn't even do. I also loved that Hanna was half white, half black and she owned it. It wasn't a major issue but it was acknowledged and refered to when appropriate. She was also dating a hispanic local, and while Hanna was not loved by his family, her race had nothing to do with it.
The town of Portero was a character into and of itself. It was ominous and hostile and sometimes it was just plain weird. A lot of the time it felt like the town was it's own entity.
The whole book is strange and weird. It's also very violent and graphic, so if that kind of thing bothers you it's best to steer clear. Normally this isn't the kind of thing I comment on but with all the other strangeness in the book it just felt like it was worth mentioning.