“Listen to me. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know what any of this means. But I know this much. It doesn’t matter. You’re not one of them. You never were. You’re not theirs. You’re mine.”
Forest deep, silent bells
There’s a secret no one tells
Valley quiet, water still
Lynburns watching on the hill
Apples red, corn gold
Almost everyone grows old.
A gripping mystery for those looking for a magic filled, rural tale of a town with too many secrets and an unpredictable match who can read into each other’s minds and the world was very wrong to let them come together.
Recommendation: For those looking for a page turner and a compelling read, but don’t expect so much so as real logic to the actions but still get a lot of relatability with the characters. Good thrills in exchange for a mystery that’s way too convenient and a book that’s a bit too on the nose with its humor.
Imagine what it’s like never being alone.
A voice that knows you and speaks through your thoughts, a familiar presence that has accompanied you ever since you were born. A someone who speaks loud and clearly and brings you comfort, a voice that only you can hear. Now imagine it’s a boy.
Jared has been there ever since Kami was born, while the people in their lives have tirelessly worked to convince them neither is real. But things very much change the day the Lyburns move back into town and Jared practically knocks at Kami’s door.
Kami is an avid and intrepid reporter in the small town of Sorry-in-the-Vale who suffers from teenager who wants to change the world YA syndrome. Despite living in a small town where everyone knows each other, she can’t help but to live with the haunting dread of the secrets that plague every corner of her city and she knows the Lyburns that lived by the woods are at the heart of all of this. Now they are back into town, people are getting murdered and her relationship with Jared is getting all too complicated.
Some fairy tales sound better when they remained concealed in our imaginations.
This book is too much, it’s just too much and its nothing at the same time- It tries to rebel and go against many classic YA tropes while tightly sticking to them at the same time, to the point where I can’t tell what’s going to happen anymore. I’m not too sure if that’s good or bad, but I suppose its the later because of how fickle these characters feel in nature. Kami is truly an unreliable narrator, and because of her rapid thoughts and switches it’s hard to keep track of motivations, allegiences and who is what and why, to the point it sometimes may just become confusing.
I have very mixed feelings on how this play with tropes was approached, but I’m still glad some was attempted to be addressed and didn’t fall too hard on its face… Where the author was going with said play though, is what I really don’t know. The book also comes with inclusions of what began as a love triangle, spun around and then again I’m left not being sure if that was for better or for worse. One thing was certain and that is that it was practically infuriating in the begging.
The book is also way too convenient, to the point I feel like I’m throwing the world “mystery” lightly. It’s like one of those frustrating mysteries that get conveniently solved because of that one huge incriminating piece of evidence left at the crime scene by the killer. Leads are left out open in the air and go by days without pursuing them —because Brennan was much too busy giving spotlight to annoying love triangles, since that’s the stuff that matters in YA, right?— and it would have no sort of impact in the story. In fact nothing, and I mean nothing made any sort of impact in the long run. Not character decisions because they (mostly Kami) would change their mind at least multiple times per chapter, no tantrum thrown by any character (mostly Jared) or horrible deeds said and done would be forgiven in the matter of one chapter and sometimes maybe even two to act as if nothing ever happened, no terrible secrets uncovered would ever change anyone’s mind or make them act any more wary around this obviously dangerous town. The characters stayed flat and unswaying throughout what was basically the entirety of the novel (with the exception of the final few chapters) and that made it hard trying to ground this novel in reality.
Don’t get me wrong though, if you liked anything like The Caster Chronicles, you will certainly enjoy this book. The truth is this book isn’t very pretentious in the long run and doesn’t pretend to be (many) things it’s not. While not being the most intricate or fascinating read, this new series is a real page turner that will grip you from beginning to end. It’s not that long either, so it’s a very fast and exciting ride from its beginning to the end. A fair warning however, the book practically feels unfinished. There was a terrible cliffhanger slapped into the ending that is completely INFURIATING and may end up angering you for days on end if you were already fully immersed in the story.
“The Lynburns built this town on their blood and bones.”
“That was their first mistake,” Jared said. “They should’ve built a city on rock and roll.”
The humor is great though. Which is something I often find my YA reads to be lacking (and why I might be such a big fan of Maggie Stiefvater in the first place) and this book was very close to making up for it… The issue is its downfall is the humor as well, just it’s too much and it often enough ruins the tone of the book. The characters find themselves using humor through many of the more serious scenes, and while that helps alleviate some of the well pent up tension it also killed the entire eeriee and gothic mood that it was going for and detatched the reader from any sense of urgency or emergency. If you’re any like me, I actually appreciated it a lot because it almost made the novel self aware and it keeps me from taking it too seriously… In which case this review would be much harsher than it actually is. Perhaps if I graded this as the angsty, Gothic romance the book’s presentation and synopsis made it out to be we’d be in a whole other level…
“Jared told her he used to be an exotic dancer in San Francisco.’
“My body is a gift from God,’ Jared said gravely. ‘Except for my hips, which are clearly a gift from the devil.”