Author: Julie Anne Lindsey
Publisher: Merit Press
Available: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Powell's
From the Publisher: Ever since she could remember, Elle has had to hop from town to town to keep up with her dad's demanding career as a corporate insurance agent. Each time, a reoccurring nightmare followed her wherever she went--until the day that the frightening figures haunting her at night became all too real. When news of a serial killer spreads throughout her new school, Elle worries that the Reaper has been leaving her his calling card in the form of cigarette butts on her doormat and an unusual ribbon in her locker. With the help of Brian, a boy she meets at a flea market, she discovers that this isn't her first encounter with the murderer and that her father has been concealing her true identity for the past twelve years. But despite her father's desperate attempts to protect her, Elle still comes face to face with the darkness she has been running from her whole life. Trapped in the woods and with help hundreds of miles away, will Elle be able to confront the Reaper and reclaim the life she lost?
This book sounded really good. Honestly, it did. But the execution? Not so great.
It’s really not a good sign when this is your tweet midway through the book:
Almost halfway through this book and it still makes no sense.
— Mandi Kaye (@mandikaye) July 18, 2013
I never break up my reviews into sections, but I think I need to for this one.
In theory, the plot was a good one. Of course, it’s the same plot we’ve seen over and over again in serial killer/stalker movies like Silence of the Lambs or Copycat). It was predictable because we’ve seen it before. Elle was asking questions we knew the answers to. Questions she should have known the answers to if she’d ever seen a movie – or if she had a brain in her head. She should have figured things out sooner. All the clues were there, even when the book made no sense. And yes, I realize that previous sentence makes no sense. Go with it. That’s what I did with this book. The first half of the book, however, was just Elle being paranoid about being alone and strangers for no good reason. If I hadn’t broken my rule and read the publisher’s blurb first, I wouldn’t have had any idea at all what was going on. (So thank you publisher god for the brief spoilers.)
The writing was mediocre at its best. It was downright bad at its worst. In some places I felt like I was reading stream of consciousness. There were no segues between changing times and locations. Sometimes they would be in one place the first half of a page and then be somewhere completely different by the end of the page with no real mention of how they got there. I had to reread sections several times to try and understand what had transpired.
I stuck it out because I wanted to find out why this guy was after Elle. It may have been an almost painful read, but it was an interesting painful read. And that, dear readers, is why I gave it 3 stars instead of 2.
What Others Are Saying:
- Book Nom Noms: It was okay but I had some problems with it. My biggest problem was that the book was really confusing and it was hard to say what was happening.
- ABC Book Review: I loved the way the story was structured, even if it was a bit frustrating at the beginning, because I was just waiting for something to happen.
- The Young Folks: Unveiling all the secrets Elle’s been kept from layer by layer at a time was fun to experience and left a kind of suspense as I tried to grapple with all the clues that didn’t add up without the previous background information that neither readers or Elle was supplied with.