Author: Holly Schindler
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Harper Teen (August 26, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan in this haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will make you question everything you think you know.
It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew.
But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it, and vows to learn the truth about what happened.
But the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley….
Holly Schindler’s gripping story is filled with heart-stopping twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.
I love when a book turns out to be darker and more twisted than I could have imagined.
I love when I get so wrapped up in the story that I too want to look behind my shoulder and make sure no one is following me, or that my neighbors aren't peering at me from closed blinds, that there are no ferals running rampant behind me, lurking around the corners and lying in wait for just the right moment to pounce.
The imagery in this is so beautifully done. So vivid and horrifying, so cringe worthy that I don't know whether to be in awe of the author's talent or slightly disgusted by it.
We are thrust right into a dark and horrifying scene only to be thrown right into another one, similar in circumstance but with very different outcomes. Two girls destined to have their lives intertwined by a violence that was as disturbing to read about, as it was gut wrenching to imagine and even though at times I felt sick to my stomach with the vivid details, I also found myself completely fascinated by it as well.
This book was such a crazy ride. It had so many ups and downs to it. So many “huh?” moments that you never quite got a grasp on what was reality and what may have been the ramblings and imaginations of a very disturbed and very broken young girl.
But either way, I was there, right with it holding on tight right up to that very strange, very curious ending. In fact, I would even say I was really into this until that ending. The ending was just too weird. Too many twists and things happened that just had me questioning everything and not questioning in a kept me guessing way but a questioning in a what the heck just happened kind of way.
It wrapped up a little too neatly with explanations for everything without really explaining anything. Ghosts, possessions, demons, imaginations, hallucinations? PTSD? What?
I still don't know how I feel about this one. Was the writing good? Yes it was.
Was I pulled into the twisted slightly macabre storyline? Why yes, yes I was.
Was it all just a little too weird and a little too descriptive but still irresistible? Again, yes.
But was I happy with it all?
Honestly, still not sure. So for now, I am going to give this one a very neutral but still very well earned three stars. Why three and not four? Because that ending threw me and I think I still need to process everything that happened and how it all ended. Bit the writing, the writing I can't deny. The author has talent and that talent needs to be acknowledged and recognized.
*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*