I the town of Oleander, Kansas, people aren't who they seem to be. After the killing day, the day when several town residents go mad and start...moreSummary:
I the town of Oleander, Kansas, people aren't who they seem to be. After the killing day, the day when several town residents go mad and start killing people--the town may never be the same. Then the tornado comes, destroying the town and killing many. After the tornado the town isn't the same. The town is blockaded, surrounded by armed military who are ordered to kill anyone who tries to leave. People you thought you knew begin turning against you, and you turn against ones you love. Nothing in Oleander will ever be the same.
This suspense novel was definitely intriguing. You are never quite sure what is going to happen, and surprises await around every turn. It had some slow spots though, and times when it just wasn't holding my attention.
The narration switches between several teen characters whose stories intertwine. The characters are well drawn and believable. Ellie King is the reformed Christian girl who is compared to a saint, but may hide some very un-saintly secrets. Daniel is the son of the preacher and protector of his brother Milo. West is a football star whose life seems to be defined by his friend Nick's death. Jule Prevette is the niece of the local meth cooker and considered no good by the whole town. Cass murdered a toddler on killing day, but has no memory of the event, and finally Gracie the sister of the murdered toddler all take turns telling this twisted tale. With so many narrators, sometimes, especially in the beginning it was hard to remember who was who. Eventually, they click into place and you can follow along.
There is a lot going on in this novel. A lot of characters, a lot of back stories, and ultimately a lot to remember. It is interesting and readers who like suspense novels will find a lot to interest them here. There are no easy answers, and Oleander will leave scars on characters and readers alike. Recommend this to teens who are looking for a suspense novel or fans of Stephen King.
I purchased the audiobook from Audible. This unabridged production was 13 hours and 40 minutes long and produced by Listening Library. It was read by Mark Deakins who does a great job with the narration. I like the audiobook of the novel. I have a feeling if I hadn't been listening to the novel I would have put it down without finishing.
Usually I like suspense, but for some reason this one didn't hook me the way I suspected. I read Wasserman's Book of Blood and Shadow last year and enjoyed it thoroughly. I was hoping the same would be true here. This book was a little slow for my taste, and a bit to similar to others I have read in the past. Long before we got to the big reveal, I had already figured out the big secret. Also keep in mind this book is for mature teen readers as there are some hot button topics that could cause problems for less mature readers. All in all it was okay, but not my thing.
Cautions for Sensitive Readers:
Sex: Sex is present in the novel and there are references to rape, an attempted rape, and molestation. Violence: Explicit in some cases. Drugs/Alcohol: Meth and alcohol both make appearances in this novel. Language: Some (less)
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