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Thorn Jack

(Night and Nothing #1)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,351 ratings  ·  287 reviews
They call us things with teeth. These words from Lily Rose Sullivan the night of her death haunts her seventeen-year-old sister, Finn, who has moved with her widowed father to his hometown of Fair Hollow, New York. After befriending a boy named Christie Hart and his best friend, Sylvie Whitethorn, Finn is invited to a lakeside party where she encounters the alluring Jack F ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published June 24th 2014 by Harper Voyager
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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 ·  1,351 ratings  ·  287 reviews

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Will Byrnes
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
In the beginning was nothing. From nothing emerged night. Then came the children of nothing and night
Seventeen-year-old Finn Sullivan has the luck of the Irish, if you consider how the phrase was used during Irish immigration to the New World. When she was living in Vermont, her mother was killed in an auto accident. A move to San Francisco did not improve things for good as her older sister, Lily Rose, committed suicide there. A need for a change of scene brings Finn and her Da back
Paige  Bookdragon

I can no longer pretend this book is entertaining.

I started reading Thorn Jack because:

1. Look at the cover

Isn't it gorgeous?It's just begging you to read the book and who am I to say no to pretty covers?

2. The faeries

Who doesn't love faeries? They're whimsical and they're full of mischief. I've always been fascinated with the Irish folklore. Any book with faeries is automatically added in my shelves.

3. The blurb is intriguing.

Although it kinds reminds me of Red and Unspoken (new girl in town me
“Fairies have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time.”

----J.M. Barrie

Katherine Harbour, an American author, has penned a captivating and heart rending young adult fantasy fiction in her novel, Thorn Jack that marks as the first book in the Night and Nothing series and is loosely based or rather say, a modern retelling of an ancient Scottish folklore ballad called, Tam Lin where a young woman tries to free a prince with
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Thorn Jack has been on my to-read list for a while, but nothing could have prepared me for magical story I found when I cracked open its pages. I was also delighted to find out that it’s a modern retelling inspired by “Tam Lin”.

First of all, I love creative reimaginings of all sorts; myths, folklore, fairytales – you name it, I want it. Second, if it’s a retelling of a story I’m not as familiar with…well, that actually jus
Madly Jane
What a lovely novel which is absolutely thick with mythology and some of the finest descriptive language on fairy-related symbols. So I was not surprised to see Diane Purkiss's book on fairies listed in the back as a source. That's my favorite book on the fairies.

And I suppose, at this moment, this is my favorite piece of fiction on fairies, too. The magic and atmosphere is so completely intrinsic in nature that I don't know how to describe it, but to say, it's real, it feels real to me, as some
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an enjoyable modern interpretation of the "Ballad of Tam-Lin". ...more
Stephanie Swint
This is a great read set through the month of October with the climax on Halloween. ‘Thorn Jack’ captures the feel of Autumn. The brisk cold has the wind ripping leaves off trees. The Fae or Others, and their dead brought to life by the fairy folk, play their part. Add a Teind, a pact that must be satisfied for the Fae and their collected spirits to live another 100 years and the story starts to get interesting. Now, include a woman starting her first year at college in the sleepy Northeastern A ...more
Kathy Martinolich
Mar 03, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was just...not good. The concept has some promise (evil fairy cabal lurking in a weird town) but it's poorly written, oddly plotted, and feels like it's trying way too hard to be cool--another reviewer described it as "trying harder to be goth than a 13 year old at Hot Topic," which is dead-on. Comes straight out of the Twilight school of girl with emo past moves to small town, meets mysterious boy, falls in love despite repeated warnings not to, drama with boy's family ensues. The pacing i ...more
Amy Imogene Reads
Urgh, I’m not willing to give up on this for good, but the writing and scene construction are terrible. Soft DNF. Hope I can get into this a different time, because the concept is killer.
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(3.5 stars)

For us readers of a certain age, “Tam Lin” and “college” in the same sentence are going to remind us of Pamela Dean’s quirky retelling. But other than profuse quoting of poetry, Dean’s Tam Lin and Katherine Harbour’s Thorn Jack are not much alike and don’t really invite comparisons. You might also think of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight a time or two, as a few of the story’s bones are similar, but I never once felt like I was reading a Twilight copy while reading Thorn Jack — which goes t
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

a very dark and evocative tale full of imagery, and romance. the atmosphere was so ethereally captivating, the details were so vivid to me. I just wanted to exist in this book.
First half of the book gets 4 stars, and the second half gets 2 stars. Finn, short for Serafina, was a teenager living with her dad in San Francisco. Her mother was long dead, and about a year ago her sister committed suicide. She and her dad moved back his hometown in New York. It was a bizarre place. Spooky things happened in the woods, and many homes which used to be extravagant were abandoned. Some of the young people in town were strange and different. Many people in town were oblivious to ...more
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finn Sullivan and her father move to the small town where he grew up in the wake of her older sister's suicide. There, Finn attends college and makes two good friends, Sylvie and Christie. She's finding the rhythm of life again. Then she meets gorgeous Jack Fata at a concert. The Fatas are beautiful, strange, and scary - soon Finn, Sylvie, and Christie are in over their heads. They must be clever to save themselves. But Finn doesn't just want to save herself; she wants to save Jack as well.

I fel
Kara Rae Garland
The writing may be poor, but the storytelling is wonderful. There's talent here. And hey, I can't knock a fellow bookseller. I've been blessed to have read an earlier manuscript of this title as well as an official advance reader and understand she has been working with a very talented editor; it definitely shows.

How sixteen year old goth pagan me would have loved this story! I mean that in a good way.
I didn't do this book any favors by putting it down for a couple of weeks, but I DIDN'T GET IT. Too meandering, too obscure. And I'd call it insta-love-y except for it didn't even quite feel like the characters were in love. Like, there just wasn't enough there even for insta-love

Too bad.
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book to read in the fall. The description is so vivid you can almost feel the wind on your cheek and hear the dry leaves blowing across the ground. The fairy realm in this novel is truly frightening, and the town of Fair Hollow is a wonderful setting for all the goings-on. The author did a great job of setting an ominous tone with this marvelously strange place. I kind of want to visit Fair Hollow. But only in daylight.

I liked the main characters well enough, but Anna Weaver intri
Oct 16, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I couldn't finish this book, which I hardly ever do. The premise was promising, but I felt a lot of things were just happening with no explanation as to why they were, just because they had to happen. Christie and Sylvie become friends with Finn just because- there's no real reason or connection with it. Finn meets Christie behind her house in the woods and somehow they're friends after that, and she becomes friends with Sylvie too by default, and I'm just like, what? How did this happen? And th ...more
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was weird. Super weird. But I loved it. Dark fae. So many Twilightey scenes it was unreal. Got so fucking confusing at the end. Will probably have to reread it at some point if I continue on with the series.
Kristen Harvey
A creepy retelling of Tam Lin (mostly I think) that had me frightened at some points and so terribly in love with Jack at others. Loved the characters and the setting and cannot wait to read the rest of the series.
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got a copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. I was intrigued by the synopsis and lured in by the beautiful cover which is much different from other YA books out there. The story was beautifully written but wandering. At times it reminded me a bit of the style of Elizabeth Hand’s Waking the Moon, but with less substance than that book. This is supposed to be retelling of the Tam Lin fairy tale.

Finn moves with her dad to his home town of Fair Hollow after the death of her s
If you liked Twilight but wished Bella had some more agency and a really close knit group of friends, then I think you'll enjoy this book.

I'm pretty sure it's a modern day retelling of Tamlin, and though it definitely made me snooze in some places there were also some really creepy bits as well.

Well yeah. But I honestly didn't mind so much. I was here for the mystery and the atmosphere. Oh, and the Shakespearean ghosts.
Jack does have this annoying habit of saying something enigmati
Okay. Imagine a little old lady's house that's just a mess of teacups, floral prints, overgrown garden, old books, dusty chandeliers and those little fake birds everywhere. Got it? Great, now imagine a bunch of goth teenagers hanging out there and you have this book. (Make sure they all have flowers in their hair. Literally EVERYONE in this book wears flowers in their hair.)
The best thing about this book is the atmosphere. It feels very dark-fairy-tale and magical. There are some sections where
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
**This is a Window Seat Blog review http://readinginthewindowseat.blogspo... **

I absolutely loved this book. I loved the characters and the mythology and the dark gothic tones. But I can also see why people don't like it. Fortunately for me, I know enough about the mythology of creatures mentioned in this book that reading all of the vague descriptions and hints ended up adding to my enjoyment. For someone who didn't know anything? That could probably get pretty frustrating. And being that I lov
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Pages read: 50

Seriously, what is up with me and why can't I stop DNFing? Anyway, here are the reasons I am quitting Thorn Jack:

1) The world building ought to be awesome and magical. It's a normal world and all of a sudden holy shit no it's not motherfucking faeries! Only I'm mostly just frustrated that all of this obviously not normal stuff happens and Finn isn't really questioning any of it.

2) I haven't actually read Tam Lin, so this might be a brilliant retelling which would keep me interested
Melissa Fish
I really enjoyed the beginning of this novel, gobbled it up in fact, but at about halfway through it I tired of reading about how beautiful every character is, and what they are wearing. The politics are mucky and the confrontations are poorly described. All together it's like manga and Hot Topic had a baby. ...more
Barb (Boxermommyreads)
Almost a week after finishing it, I still have some unresolved thoughts and feelings about "Thorn Jack." It's another one of those books I would glad give 3.5/5.0 if it weren't for Goodreads crappy rating system (sorry-not sorry Goodreads). Finn Sullivan and her father leave California for Fair Hollow, New York following her sister Lily's suicide, where Finn plans to start college and her father a new teaching job. Immediately Finn starts noticing some odd things about Fair Hollow and Hallow Hea ...more
Kenya Wright
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a re-read. She's a visual storyteller and really pulls you into the story. My only beef was it felt scattered as we jumped around to different scenes. and i was more confused about what the hero was for a while. All and all i love this book. ...more
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This is clearly a first novel - and after about 30% into the read, it was obvious that the Editor earned her paycheck. For while there are no typos or obvious sentence issues, a sophisticated reader will soon see the problems in the writing's bigger picture: pacing, world building superficiality, lack of originality in characters, and a LOT of superfluous scenes and paragraphs that don't add to the story. With experie
As it's been a trend for me lately, I'm stuck between a 3 and 4 stars on this one.

I loved the free style of writing and poetic descriptions of the settings and characters that Harbour created. She created a very magical setting that made the Fae here harken back to the dark creatures that Yeats has written about of Scotland and Ireland lore, respectively and I loved that.

While the book was told in a modern world, the Fae characters still feel old and some not only dress the part but speak in rid
Mary Hale
I'll give it 2.5 now that I'm done. At times I wanted to give it 3 or 4 but this was a frustrating read. The premise sounds so interesting and I liked the characters. But what was so obvious for the reader took almost 3/4 of the book for Finn to acknowledge and finally accept the otherworldliness of Jack and all the others, as reality. We were not on a journey of discovery with her. How many weird things can happen, how many times does she tell herself, Naw that didn't really happen, I'm just im ...more
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The author of Thorn Jack, Briar Queen, and Nettle King. (The Children of Night and Nothing series) Pretty good Painter and terrible gardener. Loves Faery, the Gothic, Victorian writers, the female surrealists, botany, and myth & folklore. My aunt once dated a Beatle, my father loved to read Mark Twain, and, if I was brave enough, I'd explore all those haunted woods and houses. ...more

Other books in the series

Night and Nothing (4 books)
  • Bones and Heart (Night and Nothing #0.5)
  • Briar Queen (Night and Nothing #2)
  • Nettle King (Night and Nothing, #3)

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