This book triggered my anxiety so bad, you guys. It was really hard to get through. BUT I will say that it was written pretty well and it was interestThis book triggered my anxiety so bad, you guys. It was really hard to get through. BUT I will say that it was written pretty well and it was interesting. I liked the way the story was told, switching back and forth between POV and time. And I was totally sold on the mystery until the last 5th or so of the book.
I kind of figured out the ending about 3/4 of the way through, but it still kept me doubting myself. But when you finally get to the payoff it felt rushed and ragged out all at once. It felt like the author was like, "well, huh. I guess I have to end this thing," and then tried to wrap it up. The female characters remained pretty true to form to the end but the male characters simultaneously reacted to the full moon or something because they became crazy, and not in a good way. It was strange and strained, and when I finished I thought, "okay, done." Almost like it was a chore because it made me feel nothing but anxious and bad and like I needed a drink.
3 stars because I liked it okay, it just didn't reach its potential. And it made me SO uncomfortable to read. ...more
[Edit: was just talking about this book again and got mad about it, so I'm editing in a few thoughts I was too incensed to remember to put in here ori[Edit: was just talking about this book again and got mad about it, so I'm editing in a few thoughts I was too incensed to remember to put in here originally.]
Where do I start? I went into this knowing that it was self-published and that I wasn't going to really enjoy it. It was... worse than I was expecting? I mean, the idea was sort of there. Kind of. It wasn't fleshed out, and there were a few holes. The writing was alright. But it was very clear that it was self-published. It was almost more of a cautionary tale for making sure you go through drafts, plural, before publishing. Let me put it this way...
There were moments when reading this book that I thought "Oh, well, this author isn't so bad." But then, far outweighing those moments, were moments and scenes and chapters where I felt like he was largely losing the voice of the story and of the characters, and didn't really know himself where he was going. There is a ghost of a 7-year-old, but he alternates between seeming like a middle-aged demon and Casper the Friendly Ghost. I couldn't figure him out. Even when the character was alive, and a child he didn't talk like a child most of the time. Instead, he said things like "Not as sweet as yo' ass, Grandpa," when asked if he liked the taste of well water? I mean, FFS.
Some of the plot points bordered and then fell over the line of ridiculous. Like climbing the fence on top of a skyscraper to get a damn hat. Or (view spoiler)[Using sixteen sticks of dynamite to blow up his own house, which didn't really blow it up, but only set it on fire? Or throwing a couple of sticks down a well, where the main character's friend met an untimely death, to fill it in, but it didn't fill in? And the dude's hand was left intact? (hide spoiler)].
Maybe it can be argued that what the author was going for was an unreliable narrator. And I think it would have worked if it had been executed in a more convincing manner. Instead, the main character spent 80% of the book seeming like an idiot. So by the time we got toward the end where it could be argued he's unreliable, he just seems like an even bigger idiot. And the end wasn't a surprise at all. It was telegraphed the entire book.
And don't get me started on how big of an idiot the female character was made out to be. OH GOD YOU'RE CLIMBING A FENCE ON TOP OF A SKYSCRAPER AND YOU COULD POSSIBLY KILL YOURSELF BUT MOTHER OF GOD SAVE MY HAT. Also, what f**king idiot acts like it's no big deal to (view spoiler)[pick up the remaining pieces of her blown-apart brother and act like nothing happened and continue to call the idiot who blew up her brother "sweetie" and other pet names? (hide spoiler)] Run, girl. Run far. [Edit: Not to mention the whole forgiving him for trying to kill her by BURNING HER ALIVE IN HER HOUSE. Fuck spoilers. See this ridiculousness.]
The love interest story line was pointless and underdeveloped. [Edit: seriously, the few sex scenes were non-scenes and so awkward. As my friend Sarah is quick to point out, the author refers to a full-grown man's penis as a "curious turtle" and "Johnny on the spot." I felt violated the whole times. Also, idiot main character? You knew the girl for like 2 months one summer when you were a kid. That a "childhood sweetheart" does not make. It was some weird nostalgic lust at first sight at best, and the whole thing was very off putting.] There were countless plot points and pieces of characterization that went nowhere for no reason. Not until toward the VERY END does the reader find out why the main character suddenly showed up in whatever town this took place in (I don't care) with a sack full of money.
[Edit: HOW DID I NEGLECT TO MENTION THE DOG THAT LITERALLY UNDERSTOOD ENGLISH AND BARKED ONCE FOR YES.]
[Edit: Okay, the drunk driving bit toward the end. Spoilers and whatever: this idiot is drinking, like, whiskey and getting shitfaced and driving around. At this point the cops are on to him, and he sharing the freaking bottle with his brother-ghost. The ghost is taking fucking swigs off the bottle and it's going right through him. It was like a mix between the uncles eating in Casper The Friendly Ghost movie with Christina Ricci, and the moment in Fight Club when you find out Tyler isn't real. More the former than the latter. How dare I compare the latter to this book, but there you go. I think I'm on to something with the Casper thing. How could it not be inspiration? Seriously. It was completely ridiculous and I think there was a wreck and that's how he ended up in the hospital but not dead but I can't remember nor do I care. Ugh.]
The ONLY thing I kind of enjoyed about this book was the twist regarding how the little brother died. It's a shame that twist couldn't be part of a better book.
It's pretty clear it wasn't really edited except for some light proofreading (and even that is doubtful that it was done by a professional). The story wasn't well developed, and it was just disappointing. Don't read this book unless it's published again after a major revision.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more