When Piper discovers an old antique mirror on the attic of her new home, she has no idea what terror she unlocked.
Eerie shadows lurking in the night and estranged voices crying out for help are only the beginning. As Piper’s world comes crumbling down, she realizes everything that she believed was imaginary, might have been real all along.
Something is very wrong with that mirror. And if she doesn’t find out what, the mirror might end up killing her.
With some help of old and new friends, Piper tries to get to the bottom of the mystery. One thing is for certain: the mirror preys on the guilty. But what exactly is she guilty of?
Author Majanka Verstraete has written more than twenty unique works of fiction. A native of Belgium, Majanka’s novels explore the true nature of monsters: the good, the bad, and just about every species in between. Her young adult books include the acclaimed Mirrorland (YA Dark Fantasy) and Angel of Death (YA Paranormal) series of novels.
Majanka is currently developing a new YA shifter series with a fresh take on fierce female detectives called THE ADVENTURES OF MARISOL HOLMES which will be published by Monster House Books in October 2018.
Her NA paranormal romance series, Ghost Slayer, has been picked up by Fire Quill Publishing. The first volume will be released in 2017.
When she’s not writing, Majanka is probably playing World of Warcraft or catching up with the dozens of TV series she’s addicted to.
Majanka Verstraete has written a YA Paranormal novel that is quite enjoyable and quite shocking in the end. Her writing style is good her words flowed well and I didn’t have any difficulty reading this novel. I noticed a few errors but recently discovered that English is not the author’s first language but I wouldn’t say that this was a big issue either. I really got into this story the more I read the more intrigued I was to find out what was going to happen. Majanka Verstraete has given us a different type of paranormal read and it was a nice change from vampires, werewolves and angels.
Mirror Mirror’s main character is Piper a young woman who is still struggling with the loss of her father and trying to deal with her mother who has just moved them into an older home. Her mother is an antique dealer and loves to buy older homes to refurbish; once she is finished she sells the house and buys another. Piper has lived in so many houses she yearns for the stability of living in one house she could call home. During a cleaning and digging around in the attic with her mom, Piper finds an old antique mirror it’s beautiful, and Piper decides to clean it up and hang it on her bedroom wall.
This is where strange things start to happen, dreams, dark shadows, hearing voices even Alison who is Piper’s best friend tell her she has a bad feeling around this mirror and that maybe she should get rid of it. Piper ignores most of these warnings she can’t help but feel like her father is close by. With all the strange things that continue to happen Piper decides that she should look into the history of her mirror and maybe get some answers. In Pipers quest for information she meets up with a young woman who can see ghosts, an older woman who declares she is a witch and she even has a conversation with a dead woman herself.
On top of everything that is going on in Pipers life her best friend Alison is having boyfriend problems and for some reason every time she turns around Joey, Alison boyfriend seems to show up where Piper is. Feeling disloyal she pushes him away every chance she gets. Now Alison has stopped taking her calls, Joey seems to come to Pipers rescue and Piper is really concerned that she may have feelings towards Joey.
This is just the highlights of the book I can't give away any more details without causes myself to write spoilers, just go read the book the ending is so shocking that I am hoping the author has considered writing another book around her novel Mirror Mirror. I definitely would purchase it.
I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys the paranormal genre.
Sixteen-year old Piper’s father died of an incurable disease a few years ago. Her mother is an antiques dealer who moves house continually. She purchases old houses in need of a lot of repair, and, once the repairs have been done, she sells up and moves into another old place that needs to be refurbished. Piper has probably moved in and out of twenty houses in this way, but there is something in the new house that she has never encountered before.
Although there was nothing that Piper could have done to stop her father from dying, she feels guilty and, although she is usually very cheerful, she sometimes broods about why she couldn’t have done more to save him. She has three girlfriends at school, of whom the closest is Alison, with whom she shares an encyclopedic knowledge of horror movies.
In the most recent house they have moved into, Piper goes looking in the attic and finds a beautiful old mirror, decorated with cherubs, which, with her mother’s help, she polishes up and puts on her bedroom wall. Alison nearly immediately warns her about the malefic qualities of the mirror, but Piper is convinced that in some way her father is trying to contact her, that there is something he needs to say to her through the mirror, so she shrugs off Alison’s forebodings.
Alison is having problems with her boyfriend, Joey. Alison complains that Joey doesn’t return her calls. Eventually, it becomes obvious to Piper’s circle of friends that Joey has dropped Alison. Piper then finds herself in the strange situation where Alison, her best friend forever, her BFF, stops returning, or even answering, her calls.
Piper is a down-to-earth, no-nonsense type of girl, but however much she denies it at first, she comes to accept what Alison said about the mirror, that the weird and scary things that begin to happen in her bedroom and other parts of her house, but not in the kitchen, and even in her school car park are caused by the mirror.
Whenever something frightening is about to happen to Piper, Joey always turns up in the nick of time to prevent it. At first she is steadfast about not betraying her best friend, Alison, with Joey, but she gradually realizes that Joey is in love with her, and that whatever existed between Alison and Joey is in the past.
Torn between the feeling that she must destroy the mirror, and the wish that her father will use it to communicate with her; getting more and more worried about Alison’s absences, and Joey’s presence; Piper begins to investigate the mirror’s history. Who made it, in the first place, and why? She learns that she is not the first person it has tortured, or done even worse things to. She is determined to avoid the fate of the previous victims. She collaborates with new people, like a Goth girl in school, an old lady and a witch, to find out how to loosen the ever tightening hold the mirror is beginning to have over her.
This is just the beginning of the story. I won’t give away any more of the plot, just strongly encourage you, if you are interested in the YA paranormal genre, to read the novel for yourself.
I will say, however, that, at the end of the novel, there is a real reversal of everything you think you have understood. It’s as if a mirror has been held up to you, you say, yes, I now understand, and then the mirror is smashed into smithereens, only to be put back together in a way that makes you do a 360° turn in order to take in that what you were so sure of was not the truth. Mirror, Mirror ends in a way that will certainly give nightmares to young adult, or even mature adult readers. In Mirror, Mirror, there are reminiscences of both Oscar Wilde’s Portrait of Dorian Gray, and Denis Wheatley’s satanic horror novels.
Majanka Verstraete is a 21-year old Belgian author, who writes in English. But I wonder if she hasn’t lived in the United States for a few years? The young adult vocabulary, the school setting, the relationships between Piper’s and Alison’s friends, the school football players, all ring very true of a North American high school.
The Bottom Line
Mirror, Mirror is a highly enjoyable page-turner of a Young Adult paranormal novel, constructed around a powerful plot and very visual writing. I had the impression I was watching the film of the novel as I read it. It would make a very effective young adult horror movie.
Everyone knows I love a good horror book. In fact, I can't resist a good horror book. Luckily, this one was fairly decent.
Okay, so the blurb is pretty spot on. I won't put it into my own words since I'd just be reiterating what the book blurb said.
I like the cover. I don't love it, but I definitely like it. I like the creepy feel to it. Yes, it could've been a bit creepier, but it's still a good cover.
I guess the title is okay. I think it's the whole symbolism for a title that a lot of books have going on. I guess you could say that Piper is a bit of a fractured girl, but I don't really see how the title would fit anywhere else. This is probably just me though.
The world building is okay. Mostly, it is believable although there's a couple of things that don't make it 100% believable. First off, this book makes demons look a bit weak. When a character can outrun a demon, something's up. From my knowledge of demons, they are pretty powerful. I doubt anyone could outrun a demon because they're younger or in better shape. Also, I'm also pretty sure that you couldn't hit a demon with enough force to do any damage. Again, demons are pretty powerful. I've never had a run in with a demon (thank God), but I'm guessing they are exactly weak. I also spotted a continuity error. One of the characters tells another to use her car to drive to the hospital which that character does. However, in the next chapter, this same character with the car tells another character to use her car which she does. Now, unless she can magic up the same car, I don't believe this can happen.
I think the pacing was a little slow to begin with, but it picked up during the second half of the book. For the first half, I really thought I was going to have to give this book a DNF (did not finish) rating. Luckily, the second half straps you in and takes you for a fast ride!
I enjoyed the whole spirit in a mirror thing. It's been done before, but I enjoyed the way it was executed in this book. I've always been a little bit scared of what lurks in mirrors, and this book just added to my fear. I'm really glad I read most of this book during the day, just saying. I predicted the whole plot twist. In my opinion, it was easy to predict, but that could be just because I try to figure out plot twists in every book. Also, if you're looking for a HEA (happily ever after) ending, then, well, you'll be sorely disappointed. There's no major cliff hanger even though this is a series which I was happy about.
I enjoyed the characters. I would've like a bit more back story on all of them, but I still found them enjoyable to read about. I could relate with all of Piper's emotions, and I felt scared for her when something was happening. I would've liked to see more Alison in the book though. For some odd reason, she became my favorite character even though she isn't heavily featured throughout the book. One thing that did bother me was the stereotyping. There is a goth girl named Felicia in the book, and she is your very stereotypical goth girl. For example, she wears all black, she's very quiet, and she wears a lot of crosses. Stereotyping in any book is a pet peeve of mine.
I found the dialogue to be a bit hit and miss. Keep in mind that these characters are supposed to be in high school. There were times when it felt as if they were from another decade, not the one we're presently in. They just used words and phrases that just seemed awkward for a teen. Saying that, even though the dialogue was a bit weird, this didn't put me off the book.
Overall, Fractured by Majanka Verstraete is a decent book and at times, a little spooky. With a little more work, this book has the potential to be a super scary read. I will definitely be reading the next book in the Mirrorland series.
I'd recommend this book to those aged 15+ who are looking for an excuse to leave the light on at night.
I'd give Fractured (Mirrorland #1) by Majanka Verstraete a 3.5 out of 5.
(I received a free ebook of this title from the tour host in exchange for a fair and honest review).
Let me explain - the suspense is fantastic, the pacing worked, the layering of the mythology worked, I liked the characters, and I LOVED the ending.
But several things kept drawing me out of the story and ruined my enjoyment of it:
1) The avoidance of 'he said' or 'she said' dialogue tags. In the first two chapters alone, we get these alternatives: shouted, commented, asked, answered, replied, admitted, countered, predicted, explained, suggested, agreed, revealed, snapped, offered, remarked, continued, repeated, noted, decided, added, assured, reassured, apologized. It's a style preference, and sometimes it's refreshing to mix things up, but there are probably 20 of these clunker words for every nice, clean 'said.'
2) The dialogue didn't feel real to me. What teenage girl says 'indeed' in regular conversation instead of 'Yeah'? What teenage boy says 'Let me escort you out of this place' instead of 'Let me walk you home?' Keep in mind these aren't rich kids at a British boarding school. They're normal teenagers who are otherwise gabbing about math tests, popular kids and movies.
3) Kiss of death - tons of proofreading mistakes. This isn't on the author; it's on the publisher. There are missing words ("stated that he believed Piper's [father] suffered from a severe case of hypochondria."), stray spaces ("Maybe all that talk of evil had somehow worked on her . "), stray periods ("The Victorian." . "Ah," or "a little long. . Anyway"), stray dashes ("but after their deaths, -I kept living"), inconsistent capitalization (one sentence it's Nurse Knockings, the next it's nurse Knockings), inconsistent spacing (sometimes ellipses have a space after, sometimes they don't), inconsistent tabs ("Piper screamed" is missing new paragraph indentation) and so on.
If any of these things bug you, this may not be the book for you. Which is too bad because there's a lot about it that is very good.
The thought of the blurb makes me cringe. It's unsettling and bothering as it was described. I was excited to be scared and to be lost in horror. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.
Fractured really did have a nice premise. But somehow, I felt it wasn't executed in the best way. The whole mystery behind that mirror was a little creepy. The bottom line is, the mirror preys on the guilt. I was wondering what Piper was guilty for. Was she guilty about her dad? For the most part, I thought she was. As the story went on, I got hints as to what she was guilty for. That, for me, was the confusing one. You see, there was a twist. A twist so big that I guess most wouldn't have seen. But there were hints. Pretty small ones at that. I guess it depends on the reader on how will he/she interpret the things happening to Piper. Since the twist didn't come strong for me at that point, I somehow lose interest. It was like, it was just dropped off as a fact of the story. I didn't see its progression as it went on. Yes, maybe there were small hints but I think they're not enough. Though I have to admit that some of the scenes were eerily scary and unusual. I got uncomfortable at times because it was that uncomfortable.
Some of the characters were not that present. How do I say it? It's like they've been acknowledged by the story but their presence weren't. I felt that they should have been present more in the story but no, they weren't. Maybe their presence would have given the story a stronger pull.
At some point, I felt dragged. But the curious me was so winning that I finished the story. And I'm glad I did. The ending, I can say, is probably one of the most stressful yet exciting scenes I've ever read.
I didn't really enjoy Fractured but I didn't dislike it. I just wished that the twist was executed in a better way. Maybe you'd enjoy this so give it a chance!
“Look in a mirror and one thing's sure; what we see is not who we are.” - Richard Bach
Piper's Mom has an obsession with antiques, restoring old houses then moving into them. just like before, Piper Golden and her mother Andrea find themselves in another new home. far from being bothered with this continuous migration throughout her life, Piper actually shares with her Mom a love for old things. while going through stuff in the attic, Piper discovers a mirror which captivates her. after cleaning it, she brings it back to her room and that is when her nightmare begins. i know that English is not author Majanka Verstraete's first language and i found her writing here a little "awkward" compared to her debut novella The Blood That Defines Us which i also had the chance to read and review. nevertheless, i got past that well enough to enjoy the story. aside from Piper's Mom, there are other interesting characters here with their quirks and flawed personalities like Piper's friends and especially the mysterious gothic girl Felicia. things started to get really interesting for me though in the latter part of the book. there were twists and turns and i just loved the ending. the writer certainly gave her epilogue a worthy coup de grâce.
Disclosure of Material Connection: i received a copy of Mirror, Mirror from the author herself. i did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was i obligated to write a positive one. all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. this disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
You might want to sleep with the lights on or maybe you might want to remove all the mirrors from your house. Fractured by Majanka Verstraete is the kind of book that makes you think about doing both. Mirrors creep me out I always avoid them when I am in the dark. They are like gateways to another world or I'm always scared when I turn the lights on someone will be standing behind me (yes I sound like a crazy person but they really freak me out) I was a bit jumpy (as you can tell) when reading this but it was a good kind of scary.
Piper and her mom move into a new house and while she is checking out the attic she comes across an old mirror. Once she hangs the mirror in her house strange things start to happen. She tries to find out the history of the mirror and the house and what she turns up will change her forever.
I want to say I knew what was going to happen but I didn't. This book had so many twists and turns it was FANTASTIC. I really loved the characters and the vagueness that was involved really worked so well that some stuff that happened I didn't see coming. The story kept me reading I never hit a slow spot and the story climbed right from the beginning. Really kept me reading way past my bedtime. I was shocked how it ended and only makes me want to read the next one even more. I had to make this review short because I can't think of what to say that wont give away any of the awesome details.
I gave this book 4 stars. Totally recommend to anyone who likes classic horror movies, why do I say that? Totally reminds me of one. You know the ones you sat around with your friends and got a bit freaked out but just laughed it off then later when you are by yourself you can't stop thinking about it and now in a total panic? Well this is that kind of book. I honestly can't wait for the next one. I had so many questions left over and I am just dying to find out what happens!!!
Piper is an average teen who struggles with loss, grief, and constant upheaval in her life. Constantly moving from home to home leaves her looking for stability and security. One way she finds this is through a group of friends she’s had for a very long time. Another way is to share the love of antiques with her mother. When she finds an exquisitely made mirror, she believes it will be the perfect addition to her bedroom. And since I really detest those spoiler reviews that detail every plot line, you’ll have to read the book to find out just how Piper grows from ordinary to extraordinary, what she’ll do for love, and what she learns along the way.
Ms. Verstraete has crafted an engaging read with a well thought out plot and enough twists and turns to keep you turning pages. She’s created down-to-earth characters we can all relate to, and cheer for. Although I did realize early on that English isn’t the author’s first language, and I struggled a bit with that, because writing it is different than speaking it. It’s like a secret handshake; there are a million snafu’s that catch you up. However, in spite of that the story still held my interest.
If you are a fan of YA paranormal/horror, you’ll enjoy this book. I believe once the language issues are worked out—and they aren’t major, they just need some fine tuning—Ms. Verstraete has a tremendous future ahead of her as a writer. She is studying law at university, and I can see why. She’s brilliant. And I’m honored to have been able to review one of her first works.
Everyone has their thing- that thing they know better than to read about- that thing that climbs into the back of their mind and puts down roots nestled between the unshakable ear worms and the irrational fears. That thing that not only causes one to shudder in broad daylight, but that inescapably keeps popping up in he most casual of circumstances. For some people it's a thinly veiled fear of heights that rears its unwelcome head on escalators or when looking out an office window, for me, it's mirrors. As a result, Majanka Verstrate's novel about Piper, a young girl who finds a special mirror in the attic of her mother's latest restoration project, has stuck with me long after finishing.
A modern YA ghost story reminiscent of Niffenegger's Her Fearful Symmetry, Fractured, the first book in the Mirrorland series explores friendship, responsibility, loss, and guilt as Piper finds herself haunted not only by her newfound mirror, but also the past she's repressed. Built around a tight cast of characters and with attention to the real-life complications with which Verstraete's audience will connect, Fractured is a quick paced read, despite it's atmospheric nature. Even though it gave me the heebie-jeebies,or maybe because it gave me the heebie-jeebies, I enjoyed it.
The concept was pretty cool...a haunted/cursed mirror that was maybe or maybe not killing people. I like the idea but the end kind of did it in for me. Not the part where a character was banished from both Heaven and Hell but a different part. And I can't say lest I give away a major part of the story.
The other thing that annoyed me was how her father died. The author kept mentioning a horrible, awful, incurable disease. But she never names the disease. It would have been much more cohesive to the book for dad to have died from cancer or MS or something. Instead we had to read over and over that he died from some horrible, incurable disease.
The other thing that bothered me was who ever did the editing didn't do too good of a job. I'm not sure if the author wrote the book in her language and then had it translated or wrote it in English. Either way, on occasion, the wording tripped me up a little bit, I had to go back and re-read the sentence.
Overall, it wasn't a bad book. I would like to see a part two though.
When I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read this book. I like creepy. And this definitely did creep me out. Piper falls in love with this antique mirror, but when her friend says she gets an evil vibe from it, Piper starts to see and hear things that scare her more than she wants to admit. Verstraete wove a great story here with plenty of twists that you don't see coming until they hit you, but then all the pieces she crafted together along the way suddenly become clear. That's just great writing. And the ending... well, I won't give any spoilers, but awesome! If you like paranormal or horror, read this book.
I loved this book, and really wanted to give it five stars, but there were things at the end that I felt needed more explanation. I understand this is book 1, but still felt there were a couple of issues. Those issues don't destroy the story, however, it has a strong plot that plays out well. So, I'm going with four stars.
There are a couple of places with an extra word, and one place with a missing word. I don't rate grammar, but since these can't be avoided, I figured they should be mentioned.
After the prologue, the story starts off a little slow. I think the goal was to introduce characters and give a little set-up, but once you get past that, hang on for the ride. The tension is strong throughout. The main character Piper, (love that name), lives with her mother who likes to fix up old houses and move on to the next one. Both she and Piper love antiques, and they are grounded people, who are not easily frightened. That is shaken when Piper falls in love with an antique mirror and moves it into her room.
Piper has a good relationship with her Mother, but finds herself in a situation where she has to find the answers she needs on her own, and protect herself in the process. Even her best friend isn't always able to be at her side. While that scares Piper, it does not stop her. She goes from a non-believer who is a little weak due to a difficult background, to a young woman who takes the bull by the horns. That's not to say it's easy.
I won't give any spoilers, but will say that this story has all the things that make a story strong. Friendship, suspense, love, betrayal, a strong and balanced backstory, and character growth. I can't wait to see what happens in book two.
So getting through this book was a little more difficult than I expected.
I liked some of the characters in the book but I felt some of them were not required, especially some of Piper's friends who were hardly mentioned during the last quarter of the book. Personally I feel the dialogue and actions didn't match the characters, for example, the "woman who looked old as time" and was "leaning heavily on a walking stick" suddenly "jumped up and began wandering around the room".
There was a huge amount of punctuation mistakes, random double spacing, repeated words (a lot of he said she said) and inconsistencies in capitalizations (Nurse Knockings and then its nurse Knockings). All these mistakes could have been avoided if the publisher gave it a thorough proofreading, these mistakes are the reason it took me so long to get through it. If these are the kind of thing that annoy you, I wouldn’t recommend reading the book.
I did like the story as it reminded me of the film Oculus with a twist, however, I would have personally liked more mischief from the mirror. Overall was the book bad? No, but I wouldn't recommend it to a friend.
I tried to like this books, I really did. I usually love horror. The haunted mirror was a great idea, but the execution was poor.
The first thing that really bothered me was the conversation. This is why YA is so difficult. Either the author tries too hard to make it seem believable or not hard enough. In this case, not hard enough at all. No teenager in his right mind talks like the way these people do. It really lessens the characters' relatability. Apart from that, the narration still needs some work. Okay, maybe we can chalk that up to inexperience this time, but she better work on her narration style on her next novel. So far, it sounds like a 12-year-old was given free reign. After around 100 pages, it does start to get better though. The conversation is more normal and the book is easier to read overall.
I don't mean to trash the novel, but it isn't very original either. Imaginary footsteps, people in her room at night and too-vivid nightmares, it is the most predictable thing ever.
The characters are probably the only redeeming quality. Most horror novels have the care-worn protagonist who sees ghosts or whatever and then all her "friends" who don't believe a word she says until she can provide valid proof and by then it's too late. If that had been the case, I would truly have performed an elaborate facepalm. As it is, the characters are well-made and the best friend actually acts like a friend and believes her even when she seems a little crazy.
The other thing I love about the book is the cover. I know, I know I'm superficial. I just made fun of the book and I'm now talking about how great the cover is. Oh well, kiddos. Bear with me. I think the cover is gorgeous, especially for a self-published book. It conveys the dark mood well and I love the font and all the layout really.
So all in all, it wasn't something I would recommend to older readers, but young horror readers might really enjoy it.
Fractured By Majanka Verstraete Kindle ASIN: B00F63YHA0, $3.99; Paperback ISBN 13: 978-1939590176, $11.84
I loved Fractured from its opening pages until its shocking conclusion, and cannot wait for the next book in the Mirrorland series. I will be restlessly awaiting news that it is out. Piper has found a beautiful antique mirror in the attic of her house. She lovingly clears away the years of cobwebs and shines the silver frame, then hangs it in her room. But then her best friend Alison comes to visit and tells her the mirror is creepy, and finally strange things begin to happen. Voices; footsteps pursuing her when no one is there; and finally dark shapes manifesting in her room at night. Frightened Piper invites her best friend Alison to spend the night, but during the night Piper wakes up and Alison is gone. Terrified Piper sets out to find her friend and this is just the beginning of the bizarre changes that come into Piper’s life Finally, Alison’s ex-boyfriend, a witch, a Goth girl medium and Piper hold a séance at Piper’s house to try to rid the mirror of the forces controlling it, but everyone finds much more than they bargained for when they go to confront the spirit bound to the mirror and banish the curse. This book had me guessing almost immediately and never, in a million years would I have seen the end coming. The characters are rich and multifaceted, with the possible exception of Joey, Alison’s ex-boyfriend, who only plays a supporting role in this book anyway. The witch’s character was a little bit of the stereotypical crone, but other than that she was surprisingly refreshing. I strongly recommend this book to readers of YA fiction as it has nothing stronger than kissing in it, although it does deal with the subjects of both murder and suicide. It has a very strong paranormal element to it and promises to be among the most exciting YA reads this fall and is a powerful start to a wonderful new series.