Liz Overberg's Reviews > Long Lankin

Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
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Jul 22, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: ya-or-adult-horror
Read from July 22 to 29, 2012

Meh. I really wanted to like this one, but it just didn't live up to the expectations I had for. It was way more fun when I was reading it out loud! Once it was only me reading it in my head, it really fell flat for me.

As many other reviewers have said, this book is REALLY slow paced. That's not necessarily a bad thing, however. The story does continuously move forward, but a lot of the subplots really don't matter. The whole bit with the dad could really go. There are way too many minor characters, (many of whom could probably have been merged into 1 or 2 more major characters), and struggling readers will definitely mix those up, especially in such a long book. But these things aren't what made me give this book a low rating.

The problem, really, is that Long Lankin just ISN'T SCARY. It has all the elements of a scary story, (an old house, a dark and mysterious past, apparitions, a creepy villain/force/monster), but I read more than half this book exclusively late at night in the dark and didn't even get a chill.

Roger and Cora are very likable, and their characterization is excellent, but I wasn't sure about the characterization of the rest of the players in the story. Auntie Ida's chapters were blatantly inserted to give us back story, and they were more confusing than anything else. We were supposed to care a lot about Cora's mom and her situation, but we never even saw her or witnessed Cora interacting with her. We had no idea whether we were supposed to like or trust Cora's dad.

There were a couple times in this story when, after having read a lot about something, I was surprised to hear that it was different than I imagined. I don't want to give too much away, but it was a lot like this: "Then Cora said, 'I finally understood why the broccoli was so orange!'" Oh, and here I had been assuming that the broccoli was just regular green broccoli...you know, since you never mentioned until now that it was orange.

All in all, this was a fun read, but it went on a little too long. I can't imagine that many young adults will stick to this one all the way through, considering the slow pacing, the page count, and the plethora of minor characters.
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Reading Progress

07/22/2012 page 170
38.0% "So far I'm really enjoying this one! The imagery and the characterization are extremely detailed. Everything feels very authentic, and there's a good mystery brewing. I'm hoping it will live up to the first third so I can recommend it to students! Also I've been reading it out loud, and the different voices are really fun to do."

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