By Kate Karyus Quinn
My Rating: 4 / 5
Here is the summary (from Goodreads):
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.
Off the bat, I have to say that I’m not sure where the comparison to Pretty Little Liars comes from!
This was a very interesting, twisty, sometimes gruesome read, and I quite liked it! I’m still trying to figure it all out, and I’ve seen some reviews say that a reread of the final chapters helped to clarify things, so I may have to do that too.
This book was pretty much nothing like what I expected. For some people, that may turn out to be a good thing; for others, it may be disappointing. I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I had really high hopes for a twisty mystery/thriller, and wasn’t really expecting that it was also a paranormal story. But I love paranormal stories, so it was an excellent surprise for me!
If I had to sum up my thoughts as I read this book into a single word, it would be: WTF? (Yes I’m counting that as a word) Don’t get me wrong though – I liked that I had no clue what was going on. Annaliese, for the most part, didn’t know what was going on either, so it was fitting that I was confused, learning the truth in bits and pieces.
I really liked the character of Dex, the boy who lives next door to Annaliese, who has his own secrets. I would have loved to read more about him! I also enjoyed reading about Annaliese and the parents’ relationship. It was touching, and was a nice change from a lot of YA novels with an absence of parental figures.
This is one of those books that doesn’t give the reader any easy answers, and that isn’t neatly wrapped up at the end. The story unfolded at a good pace, with flashbacks mixed in, which kept me on my toes, never knowing what to expect. It was a disorienting kind of read, since the timeline jumped around so much, but it was very fitting with Annaliese’s confusion and disjointed memories. I really liked the way it all unraveled.
This was a really good, intense, unsettling book. I honestly couldn’t put it down. The writing was so good and atmospheric. It’s gruesome though, so you may want to steer clear if you are squeamish and/or do not like any element of horror or gore.
If, however, you like books that are dark and twisty and a bit bloody, I certainly recommend this one.