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3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  813 ratings  ·  216 reviews
When 17-year-old Jamie arrives on the idyllic New England island of Little Bly to work as a summer au pair, she is stunned to learn of the horror that precedes her. Seeking the truth surrounding a young couple's tragic deaths, Jamie discovers that she herself looks shockingly like the dead girl—and that she has a disturbing ability to sense the two ghosts. Why is Jamie's c ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Small Review
Billed as a loose retelling of Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, Tighter at first follows the original plot closely and then spirals into Adele’s unique creation. The transition is flawless, using the setup and features of the original story as a backdrop and then spinning the reader into a story that is both completely different and yet still fully compliments The Turn of the Screw. It is not necessary to have read or even liked The Turn of the Screw to enjoy Tighter. The story updates and pa ...more
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
What a great twisted book. I wanted a short, easy book to read while I'm recovering from surgery. Something that I didn't have to focus too much on. Surpise, suprise, surpise. This book was seriously screwy and I loved it.

First, Jamie is a pill popping girl with lots of issues. Her mom sends her to Little Bly to work as an au pair. There is hints that Jamie's mom knows that Jamie is a bit more screwed up and is trying to "save" Jamie by sending her away.

Jamie quickly learns that something is s
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wanted: One au pair, preferably the splitting image of this dead girl who died in a plane crash one year ago. Ability to down enough narcotics to take down a squadron of UFC fighters = A HUGE PLUS. Crushed on your high school teacher hardcore then tried to make a move but got rejected? NO PROBLEM. Bilingual (can understand Lisp. I think it's an Asian language but idk). The better you can conceal you are a dirty, commie townie = $$$. If you feel you are qualified for this position, hmu - Miles Mc ...more
Lisa Roecker
From the perfect package--this cover is what creepy is made of, to an incredibly descriptive setting, which brought to mind the gorgeous home from the movie Evening (if you've ever seen it), Adele's TIGHTER has it all. From the moment we meet Jamie, we learn that she's suffering from something in her past and to combat the pain, she abuses whatever pills she can get her hands on. I have to say, this character trait, which I've never really read before in YA, is fascinating. Her mind is in a cons ...more
I love a good ghost story. One of my favorites of all time is Heart-Shaped Box. Now that is one freaky book. I was a little skeptical about going into this with high expectations since it is YA and all; it turned out to be one of the darker types of YA books.

Jamie is a very disturbed 17 year-old with an awful pill addiction. After suffering a back injury she hasn’t been able to quite kick the habit. Her mother, concerned with her recent behavior and thinking she may be suffering from depression,
Nov 29, 2011 Courtney added it
Shelves: 2011, ya-fiction
I will now talk about this book from a place that has never read The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (but I will eventually read Turn of the Screw, honest!): Tighter was a fantastic mesh of that antiquated ghost story vibe set against a modern background and I loved that about it; the feel/atmosphere was killer. It was like watching that scene in The Fog where Adrienne Barbeau's character is walking down the 5,000 steps to the lighthouse to do her radio show and the ocean is roaring in the back ...more
Battling depression after a back injury during track, Jamie’s mom gets her a job as an au pair for the summer on the island of Little Bly, vacation spot for the uber-wealthy. What she didn’t anticipate is that she is a near look-a-like for the former nanny, a young girl who died in an accident with her boyfriend the previous summer. Or that their spirits would be hanging around the mansion causing mischief and anguish for those left behind.

The story builds from there as Jamie battles her own de
Jodi Lamm
I added Tighter to my to-read list knowing what it was, I'm sure, but somewhere along the way I forgot. All I remembered was that it was a book by Adele Griffin, who was the author of another ghost story I enjoyed: Picture the Dead. I'm glad I forgot that Tighter was a modern YA retelling of The Turn of the Screw because, aside from the chuckle I had when I finally understood the title, I went into the story without every little nuance of the original floating around my head, and that was a good ...more
Philantha Lestrange
Yet another hard review to write. The premise of Tighter was interesting. What got me reading this book is a review's comparison of it to Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane, and since I loved Shutter Island, I decided to give it a try. And if I do compare it to Shutter Island, I must say I'm disappointed. I've also read somewhere that this book was a modernization of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, which I haven't read, but really want to.

Anyway, as I've said, the premise was interesting enou
I wish there were 1/2 stars because I would give this a 3.5*.

I am glad that I tried another of Adele's books, after not caring for "The Julian Game". This book I truly enjoyed and finished in only a matter of hours.

The story is about a girl named Jamie, who is having problems back home, such as depression and addiction to pills. She hurt herself in track, I believe it was, and was prescribed pills for that. She just continued using them to help with her depression, and when they seemed to not he
Review originally posted at:

Actual Rating: 3.5/5

Tighter is one of those stories that creeps along, events unfolding with a deliberate slowness that causes our bodies to wind up and coil like a spring, just waiting for the moment when we'll be startled into sudden movement. For the duration of this tale we are deliciously tense–though our tenseness is strictly anticipatory rather than derived from a great deal of action or intensity–and we absor
Eva Mitnick
It starts out most promisingly, with a troubled 17-year-old girl named Jamie getting what sounds like a cushy summer job babysitting a rich 11-year-old girl named Isa on a ritzy resort island in New England. Naturally, there has to be a catch. First there's the matter of the tragic death of last year's nanny, Jessie, and her boyfriend Peter. Then there's the dour housekeeper Connie and Isa's disturbing older brother Milo. Finally, there's the matter of that ghost that keeps popping up and doing ...more
This is a modern retelling of The Turn of the Screw - although, pathetically, I can't comment on it because I've never read The Turn of the Screw. I have seen a film version from which I remember the gist of the story - enough to recognize the retelling - but that's not enough to comment on what Griffin chose to change, apart from the obvious time period and setting. And I'm assuming James' heroine wasn't popping pills.

On its own merits, it works as a suspenseful, often creepy story, the kind th
Michael Young
Genre: Supernatural, Mystery

Rating: ***
I enjoyed this mysterious tingle of a story. The struggle of Griffin’s Jamie in dealing with changes in her own belief system is wonderfully done.

When teenage Jamie moves to a small town to work as an au pair, she becomes involved in a world of teenage drama and paranormal experience. Soon after arriving, she learns of the death of a young couple… and that is only the beginning to this tingling story.

Main Characters:
Jamie: teenager, moves to Little
The book had me hooked from the very begining. I liked the fact that she was a pill popper because it made her more real. The connection between her and the ghost was amazing too. So was Sebastian. However...this ending sucked. Really? She ends up being crazy and milo not real?? Milo not being real was actually really cool. But I wish he had been a ghost or something and I wish it would have been more of a ghost story. I think she should have found out the isa's dad had never even seen what ahe ...more
It seems like it took me forever to read this book and honestly, for me, it was forgettable. I had a very hard time relating to the main character Jamie and had a hard time getting into the book in general. Again, this is just me, but the story started off so slow and didn't really pick up... ever! It was just strange when Jamie started becoming fascinated with the deaths of Jessie and Pater, on top of that, finding out that Connie was just entertaining the whole Milo thing was just flat out wei ...more
This was a halfway decent story. The writer isn't bad. But holy crap I hated this book. It may have been the drug addict main character. Or the fact that the drugs are so matter of fact. But it pissed me off. What led me to give this 1 star is that at the end of the book, I was expecting a PSA about the dangers of prescription drug use. Nothing. Nada. Just a lame ending to an okay book. Nice and tidy, and oh, "forget that she was out of her mind on drugs for 6 months. Nothing noteworthy here, ju ...more
This is a neat little modern reworking of Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw." Seventeen-year-old Jamie becomes an au pair on Little Bly Island after a troubled year at home. There, she meets her charge Isa, Isa's brother Milo, and Connie, the housekeeper. As an outsider, she struggles to fit in, especially because of the dark secret hanging over her appearance on the island. A fairly faithful retelling with interesting characters, and a quick read. I'll look for more Griffin to read. >^..^<
Kathryn Laliberte
A clever modern take on Henry James's classic "Turn of the Screw." Is Jamie really being haunted by the ghosts or is it her constant pill popping or could it be she's just crazy? That's the mystery here and one that's extremely well developed. "Tighter's" relatively short length keeps the plot taut thereby ratcheting up the tension even more. I thought the end was a little rushed, but the final twist makes you want to reread the entire story. A near perfect teen book.

I had a hard time getting interested in picking this up when I'd put it down. And the twist at the end just...wasn't done as well as other books that have some similar things.

Meh. Not for me. A good pick for those who like mysteries and twists on classic stories.
Thanks to goodreads giveaways! I liked this book. It was a very easy read and it hooked me quickly. I think the topics involved would be appropriate for 8th grade and higher. A few big twists and turns and a pretty good creep factor!
I literally can't decide between 2 stars or 3 stars aaargh aaaaaaargh arghhhhhh.

I thought the main character's voice was compelling, and I liked the ending a lot. The problem is, a lot of the subplots seemed really half-baked. Although maybe I'm feeling put out because the Jamie-Isa relationship was the most interesting to me, but it was underdeveloped (and yet supposed to drive a lot of the plot.)

Also I'm so over characters' passwords being some Plot Point Meaningful Word. Also writing out Con
Kristel Marion
So the beginning grabbed me, with the odd goings on at the house on bly island that jamie was staying for her babysitting job. The odd story behind the tragic end to the last babysitter and other deaths she seems to be connected to pulled me in, expecting a haunted thriller. It has a haunting feel and then things get tipped upside down when the ending rushes to how jamie feels like she is loosing her mind and everyone is against her. I felt like this reminded me of Frost by Baer, a haunting twis ...more
KJ, Madame Librarian
This is a two star book, with an accurate portrayal of mental illness. Now it's just a one star book.
Daisy Chain Books
Fantastic! This has everything I love in a book!

Full review soon on my blog!
Harley May
Sep 26, 2011 Harley May is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I'm blown away so far. Masterful writing and gripping characters.
Barker English
*SPOILERS* I had high hope for this book, but I REALLY disliked it. The main character has an obvious drug problem. At the beginning of the book she steals prescription drugs from her parents and than later on blames half of it on her siblings. She pops pills daily and seems to think it's an okay thing to do. Yet when she learns about the "wild ways" of the nanny before her, she has all sorts of judgement. So. from the get go I never really liked Jamie as a character. It was also really strange ...more
Stories & Sweeties {Becky}
Normally, when a book shows up on my doorstep, I crack it open immediately and read a few pages, just to get a feel for it. Well, with Tighter, I did just that...and didn't put it down until I was almost 150 pages in. This was my first experience with Adele Griffin's work, but her writing style is so unique. The prose she put to use in this story were perfect to make it the bewitching, mind-boggling mystery thriller that it is. I spent most of the story feeling exactly as a reader should with th ...more
Andrea at Reading Lark
Review Posted on Reading Lark 11/5/11:

As a kid, I remember reading Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw" and being creeped out for days. At an event in Seattle last month, several authors were asked about their favorite recent reads and Tighter was mentioned. I instantly perked up when someone mentioned it was a loose retelling of James' novella. The book instantly shot up my TBR list and I couldn't wait to begin reading it. However, it has been so long si
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More about Adele Griffin...
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“What are you burning?" On a glance, just some papers.
"I write in a journal." He spoke below his breath, so that his words weren't quite for me. "Because I like to see everything written down. So that I know it really happened. That I wasn't just making it up. Then I read it and memorize it. And then I have to destroy the hard evidence."
I thought of my own journal, the muddle of every page. All those unfiltered, lunatic letters to Sean Ryan.
"What is it, exactly, that you need to destroy?"
"Everything that I don't want to be true.”
“Peter and Jessie were like Romeo and Juliet. Have you ever seen that old movie? Starring Leonardo Dicaprio?” 2 likes
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