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Hanging by a Thread

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  594 ratings  ·  150 reviews
Summer is the best part of the year in Winston, California, and the Fourth of July is the highlight of the season. But the perfect town Clare remembers has changed, and everyone is praying that this summer will be different from the last two—that this year's Fourth of July festival won't see one of their own vanish without a trace, leaving no leads and no suspects. The med ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 11th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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Liana The main character is interested in casual sex and often expresses it to the reader. There is one scene where a girl and boy are kissing and making ou…moreThe main character is interested in casual sex and often expresses it to the reader. There is one scene where a girl and boy are kissing and making out in a truck, but it is unclear to me whether they had sex or not, or if it was even implied.

And yes, there is some swearing. The F word is used about 5 times, from what I caught during my first read through of the book.(less)

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Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
2.5 stars.
Well, this was boring educational.

In 1932 in Winston, Clare’s great grandmother Alma was a newlywed about to have her first baby. She was a seamstress working on a wedding dress for a young girl when the girl’s fiancé, crazed by jealousy, came into her shop and shot them both. Alma lost her life because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but not before she gave birth to her daughter. As the baby grew, it became clear that she acquired a unique gift through the tragic circum
"Hanging by a Thread" is actually a cool title for Sophie Littlefield's story revolving around a young woman who can read intentions and events via articles of clothing and ends up pursuing "threads" in a murder mystery going around her hometown, but it's a downer when you realize that everything about this story is, ironically, threadbare. The mystery, the characterization, the romance - almost everything about it just never measures up to the potential that the premise lends, and I felt comple ...more
This book centers around the mystery of why two kids disappeared the past two summers. A girl new to town starts looking into the tragic event. And starts piecing together what happened. That in itself would have made a good story.

But I had some trouble accepting the fantasy element of it. She could touch clothing and get "stories" from them. Stories of people's pasts. What they were feeling. What they were thinking. What they were doing. When they were wearing that specific piece of clo
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
I will admit that this is the first book I have read by Sophie Littlefield and it is also my understanding that this is her first YA book.

I saw some of the low reviews on this before reading it but really wanted to come into it without any prejudices whatsoever.

However, sadly I am going to have to agree with some of the lower rating reviews.

While the author had a brilliant idea for this book, a girl who comes from a long line of seamstresses and a rocky history gets gifted with the ability to s
Feb 28, 2012 rated it liked it
*Genre* YA Mystery
*Rating* 3.0 <- Note: Just because I give a book 3 stars, doesn't mean I didn't like it!


“Hanging by the Thread” is a mystery novel that focuses on the life of 16 year old Clare Knight. Clare is a person who loves to make her own clothing. In fact, she and her friend Rachel run a booth called “NewToYou” where she sells her latest creations in hopes of going to fashion college when she graduates from High School. She lives in the small town of Winston, California (populat
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
2/5 stars

Hanging by the Thread tried to have a somewhat unique concept. The main character Clare is sorta a physic detective. Only she doesn't get her visions of the future, she gets visions of the past...from vintage clothing. For me, this concept didn't work. There's a whole story about how it was passed down in her family because a dress-making ancestor was murdered. But to me, getting flashes when you touch someone's t-shirt but not when you touch the person, just seems odd.

Of course Clare l
Mar 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-read
Clare and her mom have just moved back to her hometown of Winston having left it six years previous. But while she's been gone, the town has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. On the previous two Independence weekends, there have been incidences involving children. The first year, a little boy was murdered, the following year, a girl went missing on the same day. There's talk of a serial killer. Tourism has suffered. Now all the adults are worrying about the kids this holiday weekend an ...more
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-galley
one of my favorite movies is of that teeny tiny boy confessing at just above a whisper of “I see dead people.” the protag in this one goes through something similar. hints are dropped at the beginning, but never really stated outright until after the yawn inducing laying of groundwork, where she describes in detail where she is, what she does and how she does it.

now, what made clare special anyway? (aside from her re-purposing old clothes, that is) well, her special-ness links to her maybe conf
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have read Littlefield before, and especially liked Banished. Now, as I am learning to sew myself the premise of Hanging By A Thread really appealed to me. Here is what's up: overall there are several stories going on here and the least interesting is the mystery. In some ways, it reminded me of a Scooby Doo episode. The "bad guys" spill their guts the second someone looks at them suspiciously. In fact, there is too much spilling going on here. People barely know or remember Clare, but within s ...more
Apr 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
I'm always excited to read YA mysteries - it's my own genre and one I hope to see grow exponentially in the next few years.

Littlefield's debut focuses on Clare, a girl who's just returned to her mother's hometown after several years in the big city. Clare can 'see' pasts when she touches clothing, a gift which soon sends her on a quest to discover what really killed a girl whose jacket she bought as scrap. Clare is a vintage clothing designer (very cool!) and she's always ripping stuff up to mak
Clare has a gift; she can ‘see’ events when she touches a piece of clothing, but her gift has never sought her out as much as it has this summer.

Clare and her mother move back to the town where they used to live. Things have really changed; most notably there have been two murders in two years. The victims seem totally random and the town seems to be holding its breath as the anniversaries of the disappearances comes closer.

When Clare comes across the jacket of one of the victims she gets a vi
Something about Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield drew me like a magnet. It was probably partially because it takes place on California’s beautiful Central coast but there was also something about the concept that aroused my curiosity. Maybe it was that the central character is very creative, or maybe I’m just a sucker for stories about teens overcoming adversity. If you like YA mysteries with a touch of the paranormal, this one might draw you in as well. Read the rest of my review at ht ...more
Book Review originally published here:

An interesting, original topic, but unfortunately entirely screwed up by the way too long narrative. The characters and plot don’t live up to the potential of the premise either. Clare is a pencil-thin character, with the personality of a cardboard figure. The plot takes too long to pick up – I went through half of the book, before I even got the feeling there was some plot to speak of. Not recommended.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brooke Banks
I won this book from a giveaway through Adventures in YA Publishing.

FYI: I haven't read any of the author's work before this so it's completely new and reading it as a stand alone novel.

I thought this book was okay. I liked it but not really liked it. It could have been better. I think the characters were done well. Their relationships were dynamic and made sense. The love interest was instant yet they didn't try to make it deeper by talking much about common interests. It's flimsy and I'm not a
Sep 11, 2017 rated it liked it
The story started off promising but as the story progressed, it became duller and duller. I liked the concept of Clare's gift. When she touches someone's clothing, she's able to see visions of what that person saw when they wore it. Using this gift, she tries to solve the mystery of two murders that have happened in their town the last two years. The story had a lot of potential but ultimately fell flat.

I didn't feel like Clare really carried the story or did anything substantial to keep my inte
I liked the premise of this. I mean, seeing people's memories through clothing is a really cool power, especially for a wannabe fashion designer! The execution just wasn't all that great. Add in another hundred pages with more character development and get rid of the insta-love and it would improve a lot! Also, maybe give Clare more of a personality, so I understand why she's invested in a crime which happened before she even lived in town and doesn't impact her in the slightest. I liked the twi ...more
Sep 04, 2020 rated it liked it
The book was pretty good. The story and plot lines were pretty predictable though. The main character facing in love with a hot bad boy with dark hair and muscles was pretty basic. And I could tell who killed Rachel it wasn't much of a surprise. I still enjoyed how the writing pulled me in different directions as to who the killer might be. I liked the main characters gift of seeing a person's memories from touching their clothes, I thought it was cool. The last chapter was really cheesy but clo ...more
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
The writing was great, the story well told and the characters were interesting. My only problem with this book is that it seemed to scratch the surface of what could have been a more detailed and stunning novel. Another 150 pages or so would have gone far to flesh out better back stories for each of the characters, and all the individual story lines could have wrapped up and come together more solidly at the end.
This book was okay. The twists weren’t that big and the mystery wasn’t too hard to solve. It did keep me interested but it didn’t have too much substance.
Jun 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Review to Come
Originally posted at

Favorite Quote: “I wondered if I could live with the version of me that Rachel was trying to create.”

Clare, a budding fashion designer and clothing repurposer, doesn’t remember a whole lot about the sleepy seaside town of Winston, California, having moved away as a child. After her parents get divorced, she and her mother move back into the “haunted” family home and are attempting to start their lives over.

The town is getting ready to
Elizabeth Drake
Jul 29, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2012-books, mystery
This and other reviews can be found on Reading Between Classes

Cover Impressions: Not impressed with this particular cover. It appears that she is lying on a bloody comforter on a bed (is that what everyone else sees?). This never happens in the book. Clare spends page after page describing her wacky designs, but all I see pictured is a simple lace top and VERY traditional necklace. The pose is boring, the color is bland and there is nothing to make me pick this one up off the shelf.

The Gist: The
Apr 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Every once in a while I'll come across a book that'll drag me in not necessarily based on the blurb but the setting. Winston, California reminded me a lot of Santa Cruz. A bit more sedate, not as hippie-esque, but still a reminder. Within the context of the story it lies south of Monterey and is three hours south of San Francisco, which makes it a little less than two hours away from Santa Cruz. Sold. I just love the area that much that a LOCATION will pull me into a book. Premise need not apply ...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Maternal relationships throughout the generations can withstand dangerous challenges in this paranormal read.

Opening Sentence: They say our house is cursed, and maybe it’s true.

The Review:

In the third book of the Banished series, Sophie Littlefield’s Hanging by a Thread changes momentum, allowing Clare to voice the story. Murder and mystery graces the pages, presenting the reader with a thrilling read for the paranormal genre. A mother’s love
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Review originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..

The Fourth of July festivities in Clare's childhood home aren't quite as she remembers them when she and her mother move back into their ancestral home. For the past two years a child has gone missing, never to return and the media proclaims worries of a third occurrence. The locals are just as worried, but they rely on tourism for much of their income so everyone is putting on a smile and acting like nothing is wrong. Yet Clare knows differ
Kah Cherub
Mar 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Read complete review here:

After her parents were divorced, sixteen-year-old Clare Knight, a.k.a. Cee Cee, and her mother decided to return to the city they both grew up in. To the city where her very eccentric grandmother lives. To the house everybody believes to be haunted. And they move there close to the date when, for two years straight, there have been murders. First, a little boy, Dylan, was killed in a car accident. And a year later, a very popular
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first words that comes to mind as I sit down to write this review is SWEET REDEMPTION! I loved this book! I was not a fan of Littlefield's book Banished, but it was just different and I can't blame my taste on her! I'm so glad I didn't give up on her writing (she has plenty of other books I'd like to give a try as well.). This book was fun, even though a bit darker than I expected. I loved the quirky cast: Nana was awesome, and I loved that Clare didn't run away from her gift, even though it ...more
Aug 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
I adored AFTERTIME, the first book in Sophie Littlefield's dystopian series but I'd never tried any of her YA stuff so I wasn't sure what to expect from HANGING BY A THREAD. It's quite different from the Aftertime series but I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Clare and seeing Winston's seedy underbelly. The author has written a lovely suspenseful novel with a hint of the paranormal that has something to appeal to just about anyone.

Clare has just moved back to Winston with her mother, years aft
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Called a “writing machine” by the New York Times and a “master storyteller” by the Midwest Book Review, Sophie Littlefield has written dozens of novels for adults and teens. She has won Anthony and RT Book Awards and been shortlisted for Edgar, Barry, Crimespree, Macavity, and Goodreads Choice Awards.

Sophie also writes under the pen name Sofia Grant.

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