Published by HarperTeen on June 11, 2013
The spine-tingling horror of Stephen King meets an eerie mystery worthy of Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series in Kate Karyus Quinn’s haunting debut.
On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.
A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.
Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese’s fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.
As I sat down to write this, I kind of felt like I had a brick sitting in my stomach. I dreaded writing this review. But what it came down to was: this book fell way below my expectations. Maybe because I had heard so many wonderful things about it, or maybe because everyone was giving it 4 and 5 stars – or maybe both. I thought to myself, “What’s wrong with me? Why I don’t I like this book, when everyone else seems to?”
The book is described as “spine-tingling horror” and an “eerie mystery.” I didn’t think it was either of those. If anything, it was choppy and confusing. The poems were annoying. I’ve never been good at interpreting poetry, so they just felt like a distraction and like I was missing something by not understanding them. The memories, too, were confusing; they came out of nowhere, sometimes with no warning, and it was hard to distinguish present-day vs. past life memory. I wish these sections had been better distinguished from the present-day parts of the story.
The memories also felt so scattered. They happen often, yet are too vague to piece together. I feel like the memories are the places where we should learn a lot and, maybe collectively, we do. But taking each individual memory, they’re just confusing interruptions into the story.
Dex was my favorite part, and I actually did really enjoy his role in the story. His relationship with Anna is grim and twisted, yet oddly perfect. For some reason, I feel the urge to compare Dex and Anna to Romeo and Juliet. I don’t know if that fits, but it is what comes to mind for me. However, as much as I love Dex, his part in the story was not enough to make up for the confusing story as a whole.
The ending was so confusing (Notice a pattern?). I have way too many questions – Even if there was going to be a sequel (which, I have no clue…), and the ending was purposely left open-ended for said sequel, I still feel it’s just too scattered and has too many loose ends.
Overall, I was really disappointed. I went into this book, excited to read it and excited to see what so many people were gushing about. Maybe my expectations were too high, and that’s why I feel so let down? Either way, I struggled to get through this book, almost from page one. I didn’t enjoy it and I don’t agree with the description. There were so many other little things that bugged me, but I feel bad enough that I had to write such a negative review. So I’ll just leave it at that.