Saturday, August 20, 2016

"The Telling" by Alexandra Sirowy

 Lana used to know what was real. That was before, when her life was small and quiet. Her golden stepbrother, Ben was alive. She could only dream about bonfiring with the populars. Their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell truth from lies, and Ben’s childhood stories were firmly in her imagination.

Then came after.

After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, living with nerve and mischief. But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten. Love, blood, and murder. ~taken from Amazon

I am so all over the board with this book and what I want to rate it. I liked parts of it, but there were definite parts that I really, really disliked. This will be a short, quick review because it's really hard to go in depth without spoilers.

The overall plot to this story is very intriguing. There's just such a scary aspect about a murderer running loose on a small island community. Is it a stranger or someone they know? Though it took a little bit to get into this book, once I understood what happened before I was hooked. Then things started to go downhill...

So here is what just didn't "do" it for me: the characters. There were a couple that I really liked but most of them were shallow, annoying, and very predictable. The characters are all in high school and I feel that the author took a group of generic high school stereotypes and added them to the book. Their words and actions were so predictable. It got boring fast.

Lana, the main character was interesting at first. Her inner thoughts and dialog about the loss of her step brother and the relationship between her and her best friend were deep and interesting. It added to the story. But once the group of friends started getting murdered and dropping like flies our first person narrator quickly became repetitive. It's like her personality plateaued and she had nothing left to give to the story. The constant inner dialog of how much she loved and missed her stepbrother simply interrupted and took away what was happening with the story. 

That leads me to the length of this book. Half this book is Lana's inner dialog. We get it, she loves and missed her stepbrother. "I miss Ben... I loved Ben. Ben once told me ____. I wish Ben were still here with me." I understood that from the beginning. No need to reiterate it over and over again. I could have done without reading half the book and still understood the depth of love she has for Ben. 

The predictability of the plot is laughable. The murders are very specific to the weird stories her step brother Ben used to tell her. Lana seems so smart. Why did it take her so long to realize this? Why then does she decide not to go to the police with this info and her and her friends attempt to find the murderer themselves? Too much, just too much. It was like reading a bad 90's teen slasher film. 

I give this book 3 stars. It did suck me in at first and seemed to really be going somewhere. Then it turned predictable and boring. Just because I didn't exactly love it, doesn't mean other readers won't. It's a fast, easy read so if you like YA thrillers with major teen drama then give it a try!

Thanks to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing for allowing me to read and review this egalley. 

Happy Reading! 

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