Showing posts with label disappearance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label disappearance. Show all posts

Monday, July 10, 2017

[Review] Last Seen - Lucy Clarke: Seaside Towns and Disappearances

In LAST SEEN, seven years ago the sons of best friends Sarah and Isla disappeared, only one of them returned, and on the anniversary of the tragedy, the other one disappears.

What intrigued me: Was in the mood for a thriller.

Beautiful Writing

LAST SEEN is a very character-driven, super slow book. It's essentially a psychological, a little dark drama involving family secrets. Clarke's writing is beautiful and lyrical, reminds me a lot of Brunonia Barry's actually, which is definitely a compliment. 

There is something dreamy and magical about the way she paints this seaside town and the prose absolutely creates an uncanny atmosphere that makes LAST SEEN very unique. 

I struggled a lot with LAST SEEN, a lot of the plot is reliant on you listening carefully when backstories get unravelled one by one, and I just couldn't bring up enough of an attention span for the dozens of flashbacks and monologues. Unfortunately, this is one of those subjective things that inevitably always make me lose interest in books. I was looking for something more fast-paced, and this is absolutely not what LAST SEEN is. Regardless, the mystery at the core of the story surely is interesting and I do see a lot of people enjoying this, but subjectively, it wasn't my thing.

Very Character-Driven

I guess you have to have a knick for Adult fiction that's more on the women's fiction side than the thriller side to enjoy this, which is certainly not a bad thing. Especially because of the multiple POVs I struggled to establish the very essential connection to the protagonists that you inevitably need to even remotely care for the story. 

I just wasn't invested in Isla's or Sarah's struggles. I really, really deeply struggled to empathize with their friendship and their worries. A lot of the story is spent establishing how their friendship developed in the wake of the tragedies and you have to truly care about that in order to like LAST SEEN. It's more family drama and women's fiction than thriller. Maybe I was in the wrong mood when I picked this up, maybe it's just not my thing. 


Rating:

★★★☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

LAST SEEN is a beautifully written character-driven mystery set in a dreamy seaside town and I'm sure a lot of people will love this. This had a lot of things that I subjectively don't like in my thrillers, so this wasn't really for me.



Additional Info

Published: June 2017
Pages: 416
Publisher: Piper
Genre: Adult / Thriller
ISBN: 978-3-492-06027-1

Synopsis:
"In a small seaside community, there’s always somebody watching…

Twisty, pacy, and superbly plotted, Last Seen is the perfect psychological page-turner for fans of Clare Mackintosh and Sabine Durrant.

Seven years ago, two boys went missing at sea – and only one was brought to shore. The Sandbank, a remote stretch of coast dotted with beach huts, was scarred forever.

Sarah’s son survived, but on the anniversary of the accident, he disappears without trace. As new secrets begin to surface, The Sandbank hums with tension and unanswered questions. Sarah’s search grows more desperate and she starts to mistrust everyone she knows – and she’s right to.

Someone saw everything on that fateful day seven years ago. And they’ll do anything to keep the truth buried."
(Source: Goodreads)

What's your favorite thriller?



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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Recommendation: The Women in the Walls - Amy Lukavics: Victorian Mansions and Disappearances

In THE WOMEN IN THE WALLS, Lucy and her cousin Margaret are hearing voices inside the walls of their Victorian home after Lucy's aunt disappears.

What intrigued me: Horror, horror, horror, give me all the creepy YA horror.

Bursting with talent

I've seldom read such effortlessly beautiful writing. There is not a single word too much in this book, Lukavics writes so infuriatingly beautiful that you can't help but be a little jealous of her talent. THE WOMEN IN THE WALLS tells a fascinating yet very simple story without much of a complicated plot that is so, so, so enhanced and livened through the fantastic writing. Lukavics has a very atmospheric writing style that is so essentially eerie. It's incredible how much Lucy's voice sucks you into this story, makes you feel like you're wandering through this creepy Victorian mansion with her.

I started out slightly skeptical because of the setting - it surely isn't anything I haven't seen before, but THE WOMEN IN THE WALLS perfectly illustrates that you can write with the most overdone premise ever and turn it into a masterpiece, if only you put your own spin on it. And that's what Lukavics absolutely does. 

Peak Creepiness

When it comes to horror, I'm a reviewer that you wouldn't want to read your book. I'm hardly scared of anything. You need to be exceptional to scare me and that's absolutely what THE WOMEN IN THE WALLS is. It feels a little like psychological horror, how Lukavics pretty much gives you zero information on whether these voices are real or not and what they exactly are throughout the majority of the story. Until the bombastic finale that's riddled with absolutely unpredictable plot twists, you'll find yourself questioning whether Lucy and Margaret are imagining things or not constantly. It's so well-done that I genuinely grew a little paranoid while reading and I surely loved the way Lukavics wraps it all up. 

A word of caution towards the end: if you're not a fan of open endings, THE WOMEN IN THE WALLS will be very difficult to part with. Personally, I just can't help but keep thinking about Lukavics' characters because the story doesn't quite have an ending. But that's part of the brilliance and what good horror should do in my opinion. It should leave you thinking about the gruesome creepiness for days. Lukavics certainly and effortlessly managed to knock my favorite creepy horror writers from the throne. THE WOMEN IN THE WALLS is absolutely a book you should read if you like everything eerie and Victorian. 


Rating:

★★★★★

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

THE WOMEN IN THE WALLS is exceptional. A masterpiece, really. Written with literary ease and multi-faceted atmospheric writing, this is more than just a recommendation - this is a must-read.

Note: Massive trigger warning for suicide, body horror/gore, emotional abuse, and cutting/self harm if you plan on reading this book.


Additional Info

Published: September 27th 2016
Pages: 278
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA / Horror
ISBN: 9780373211944

Synopsis:
"Lucy Acosta's mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They're inseparable—a family.  

When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she's ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret has been spending a lot of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her dead mother's voice whispering from the walls. Emotionally shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin's sanity slowly unravels. But when she begins hearing voices herself, Lucy finds herself confronting an ancient and deadly legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.
 "(Source: Goodreads)



Have any horror books scared you lately?

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