Heroine was very boring. I also wasn't expecting it to be so old fashioned and gothic, Edith Layton does span a few different styles and I like her ne...moreHeroine was very boring. I also wasn't expecting it to be so old fashioned and gothic, Edith Layton does span a few different styles and I like her newer stuff much better.(less)
This is a hard book to rate because nothing much happens and it's still pretty engaging. I can definitely understand why so many people have labeled i...moreThis is a hard book to rate because nothing much happens and it's still pretty engaging. I can definitely understand why so many people have labeled it "disappointing". I haven't read Tiger Lily yet, so I had lower expectations going in.
It's not bad, not at all. But it's slow and atmospheric and I'm not sure many people have (or should have, given limited leisure reading time) the time and patience for something like that with very little payoff. I wouldn't say it's beautiful enough to warrant existing for its own sake without a payoff.
Maggie is an interesting character, smart and obedient, a good daughter, without being annoying or frustrating to read. I was very angry on her behalf for a lot of things, and frustrated with her calmness, that she never expressed those feelings.
Part of the frustration about nothing happening in this book is because there's a lot actually going on, just not in the pages of the book. There is a serial killer on the loose, there's pages between chapters from the probable point of view of a ghost, there's even just the fact that Maggie is home schooled and helping her parents redo their house, which could be really interesting. Instead, we read about minutia of Maggie's day and museum trips that never amount to anything, walks nowhere, waking up and doing such and such, lists of boring stuff that don't mean anything. That was frustrating.
(view spoiler)[ So. The ending. Very haunting and sad, and the short chapter of Pauline waking up on the ice was beautiful. I loved the last line 'Not with those eyes'. But the entire ghost subplot felt unnecessary, I can see a point was being made about letting go and moving on, but it wasn't satisfying for a reader. Nor was the visit home for Maggie to see her friend and decide she liked Door County better and she should be a better friend to Pauline. It just didn't work for me. The killer being someone she never knew, just a stranger, is another thing that makes sense in real life (and probably the point, 'wow life is senseless and random') but it didn't quite work for me. I would have much rather had either NO ghost subplot, or had the ghost be the killer's daughter who died before her time and that's why he is unhinged, that's why he kills, anything that tied it together. (hide spoiler)]
Liam was an interesting character, Pauline was 'eh'. The move and Maggie's homeschooling give a good excuse for keeping the cast of characters small, and adds to the slightly claustrophobic feel of small town life, but I still doubt my parents would let me stay at home alone or go out into the woods with my friends if there was a killer on the loose. (view spoiler)[ I was excited by the thought that Pauline might be asexual, there were a lot of hints that way, it would explain her wanting to be possessive of Liam and yet not have sexual desire for him. I was very enthused that she acted ace even if it was never outright said. Then, of course, she flat out changes her mind and MAN I was frustrated by that. More ace and aro characters in YA, please.
So my bottom line is that this book got me more interested in the author, but I would not recommend it to anyone with anything less than unlimited reading time. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)