I have a lot of feelings. I nearly cried three times while reading this. Three. It’s not uncommon for me to cry because of books. It’s actually very common for me to cry because of books. But, so far this year, I haven’t done that much book-related crying. I don’t actually know if I’ve done any book related crying so far this year. So I was not expecting to almost do so much crying because of this book.
I completely fell in love with Brenna Yovanoff’s writing after I read The Curiosities a few months ago. I fell in love with her writing so much that I ordered literally all of her books online.
It took me a while to actually pick one of her books up, though. But last week I got a bad cold and I wanted to read something. This book happened to be beside me so I started reading it. I hadn’t picked it up before because, even though I was pretty sure I was going to like it, I didn’t immediately love the description on the back of the book, and I got distracted by other books with more interesting descriptions.
I wish I had picked it up the day it came in the mail.
This is probably the best book I’ve read all year.
I love how the characters are written. Their emotions were written in a way that was easy to relate to even if you haven’t felt or gone through the same things. I haven’t gone through any of the things that Hannah’s gone through, but she was still someone that I could kind of relate to. Maybe not on as much of a personal level as I would relate to someone who’s been through the exact same things I’ve been through, but the characters all feel like they could be old friends or people you know. Like any friendship, it takes a little time to get entirely used to them, but, once you’ve read a few chapters, you feel like you know them. They feel like very real people that you could run into while you were out somewhere. I want to be able to meet these characters, talk to them, and be friends with them, but they’re fictional so that’s not possible! The struggle is real!
I really liked the atmosphere of this book. It was creepy without using any of the things that a normal horror or thriller book would use. There was no rolling fog that made it hard to see, there were no power outages that made it so that they couldn’t call for help. This had none of the horror cliches that I’ve encountered recently. Most of what I’ve read this year has been teen horror, and it was really refreshing to read a creepy book that was completely unlike anything I’ve read all year. This book maintains a nice level of creepy with just a few small details, none of which are cliches. The fact that the main character’s dead, best friend followed her constantly was really enough to maintain a spooky atmosphere. And they were constantly finding dead girls with creepy paper Valentines on their bodies, so that did a lot to help with the creepy level. It wasn’t the scariest book I’ve read all year, but I didn’t expect that it would be. It would have been horrible if the author had forced it to be really creepy in a stereotypical way because it would have lost its impact.
A lot of the teen horror I’ve read recently leaves the end of each chapter with a cliffhanger, so you want to read more, and you won’t put the book down. This didn’t end each chapter on a cliffhanger, but I still wanted to know what happened next, and I still read most of it in one day. It’s such an interesting book that you won’t want to put it down. So if you’re planning on reading it, I recommend taking an afternoon and reading the entire thing in a sitting. Just find a nice chair, make some tea, and don’t put the book down until you’ve finished it.
I really like how the words flowed. It would be a really good book to read out loud. The words were almost poetic, but it didn’t seem forced like some books do when they’re trying to sound poetic. It seemed very natural. Even though I don’t read books out loud, because I hate the sound of my voice, the poetic quality of the words made it really nice to read.
There’s one thing that I really loved about it, which isn’t a huge deal, and is mostly just me being a fangirl, but I’m bringing it up anyway. In the part where Hannah’s at the mall, Lillian is wondering around near some fake plants and she’s singing “Fake Plastic Trees” by Radiohead. Radiohead is my favorite band. The only other book I remember reading that specifically mentions them is Pretty Little Liars. It’s possible that there are mentions that I didn’t notice in other books that I’ve read, but I think I would remember them. You never see Radiohead references in young adult books. I’ve seen Joy Division references and references to The Smiths, but Radiohead doesn’t seem to be as popular with teens these days. Which is unfortunate because they’re amazing.
I’m going to stop with the obsessing over music now because if I start talking about Radiohead I won’t stop talking about Radiohead, so… Anyway, it made me very happy because I love that band and that song in particular is one of my favorites.
I was a little worried towards the end of the book because for a while it seemed like there were too many pages and not enough stuff that had to happen. Then it seemed like there were too few pages and too much stuff that had to happen, but it all worked out so nicely in the end. While I was reading it, I was thinking that I wished it was longer. It’s only three hundred four pages long, but I wanted it to go on on forever. Now I’m actually really happy with the length of the book because everything worked out so well.
Five out of five stars! I loved this book more than words can properly express, and I will be picking up the other books I have from this author very, very soon.