I liked this. It was the first psychological horror/paranormal/whatever book that I’ve read recently that I actually enjoyed.
I’m specifically saying first that I liked it because I do have some complaints. I want to make it very clear that, even though I do have some complaints, overall I did like it.
One of the things that I really liked about this book was that it was told in diary entries and police reports and videos, instead of having one narrator who told the whole thing. This is the only book I’ve read that’s been told like this and I think it was really well done. I liked that all the pieces of the story weren’t exactly in order, there were bits and pieces of the end scattered throughout the beginning. They were tantalizing and made me want to see how they got there.
That being said, even though it was a good book and I enjoyed it, I did have a few issues with it.
It got kind of slow during the middle whenever Kaitlyn ended up back in the mental hospital. I know that she was very confused and the author was probably trying to show the readers that, but there are better ways. Honestly, the only reason I kept going was because of the police reports and things earlier in the book that hinted at what was going to happen. I would probably have finished it if I hadn’t known all those things; however, it would have taken me a lot longer, and since I would have had to force myself through that section of the book I probably would have liked it much less.
In the beginning the author seemed to be trying to create a creepy atmosphere, which worked really well, but about halfway through I kind of just got used to it. At first the book was unsettling and the creepy atmosphere worked really well, but as it was the same level of creepiness throughout the whole book, it was very easy to get used to. If it had gotten creepier the further I got into the book, it would have been better but it didn’t. Maybe it was supposed to get creepier, and I just didn’t find it creepy? I’ve said before in other reviews that my opinion of creepy isn’t really the supernatural kind of creepy. It’s more the Fahrenheit 451 or Brave New World creepy, so maybe I was supposed to find this creepy and then didn’t. But even if that is the case, for the first one hundred fifty pages or so, this was the kind of book I wouldn’t read at night and I did feel kind of freaked out by it, so… Yeah, I feel like the level of creepy could have been better through the rest of the book. It just kind of got flat, in a way. The author could have ramped it up to be really horrible at the end, especially because there’s so much death and the last twenty pages of the book are about Kaitlyn killing people, hiding bodies, and setting the school on fire. None of the death or sadness really affected me because none of it really seemed creepy.
Honestly, in my opinion, the whole book kind of starts to fall apart around page two hundred. The writing started getting weird and slightly confusing at this point. It could have been the author trying to express that Kaitlyn was really insane? Or maybe it was something else. Whatever it was, I didn’t like it. As I mentioned, the second half of the book seemed to drag on a bit. I think it could have been shorter without it making a difference to anything. Some of Kaitlyn’s diary entries seemed to just be insanity towards the end of the book, AND I GET THAT THAT’S THE POINT, SHE’S CRAZY, but it’s kind of weird to read a book that’s mostly told by a crazy girl.
I wanted more about the dead (?) girl that Kaitlyn kept seeing. Was it Carly? Was it her diary, Dee, in human (?) form? If it was Carly, wouldn’t Kaitlyn be able to look at her and recognize her because they would have looked the same? And if it was Dee, why was she some creepy dead girl? Was it the demon inside Kaitlyn? Or maybe it was none of those and it was actually Kaitlyn just being crazy and now having hallucinations? I don’t know what it was but I want to know what it was and, honestly, I’m kind of disappointed that there wasn’t more about it later.
There didn’t seem to be a lot about Ari and John and Brett. I wanted more backstory about them. There was the bit in Carly’s diary about how Brett was creepy but there wasn’t much more about him. Kaitlyn was jealous of the girls who would dance with John but she also says that he’s like her brother. Does she like him or does she see him as family? Because those are two entirely different things, and you would never think of someone as being like a brother while having a crush on them. Or at least you shouldn’t because ew. But that’s not entirely uncommon in YA books. Like The Accident Season. Yes, in that book they were step-siblings and not actually related, but for a lot of their life they had been raised as siblings. It would be weird to date someone you had seen as your sibling for so long.
And now for the soap box moment. Kaitlyn and Ari slept with each other a lot in the last hundred pages. Like roughly every twenty-five pages in the last hundred pages which covered about three weeks. Kaitlyn had a lot of mixed feelings about this: On one hand she was happy but on the other it was Carly’s body, too and she didn’t know what effect her actions would have on Carly. They had agreed to talk before anything like this happened but they didn’t because Ari sent Carly away. How tricky of him. The physical relationship didn’t seem necessary in the book. There are lots of ways he could have shown that he loved her without being physical. And, in the end, he is a mentally stable person taking advantage of a mentally unstable person. Also, someone has to pay the consequences for their actions if anything should come of it like pregnancy. This could be either Carly or Kaitlyn or both. Ari and Kaitlyn are depicted as being in love and there is a sense that all done in the name of love is fair, even though he isn’t really a good person. He may be the only person who ever really loved her, other than Carly and John. Still he took advantage of her and hurt Kaitlyn by getting rid of Carly and causing Kaitlyn’s breakdown. This seems to present a rather twisted sense of what it means to love someone. Lots of teens do have sexual relationships of some sort and so can relate to the book but lots of teens are also not in a healthy place with those relationships. This does not present any material that helps to show healthy relationships either emotionally or physically. I know that the author does not specifically say that this is exactly what you want to have in a relationship but she never says that this is bad. I don’t know. I’ll put my soapbox away until later now.
Even though I did do a lot of complaining, I did like this book and if you’re the kind of person who finds demonic paranormal things creepy, then this would probably be a really good book for you.
Three out of five stars.