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3.43  ·  Rating details ·  1,142 ratings  ·  244 reviews
When 17-year-old Jamie arrives on the idyllic New England island of Little Bly to work as a summer au pair, she is stunned to learn of the horror that precedes her. Seeking the truth surrounding a young couple's tragic deaths, Jamie discovers that she herself looks shockingly like the dead girl—and that she has a disturbing ability to sense the two ghosts. Why is Jamie's c ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,142 ratings  ·  244 reviews

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Small Review
Billed as a loose retelling of Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, Tighter at first follows the original plot closely and then spirals into Adele’s unique creation. The transition is flawless, using the setup and features of the original story as a backdrop and then spinning the reader into a story that is both completely different and yet still fully compliments The Turn of the Screw. It is not necessary to have read or even liked The Turn of the Screw to enjoy Tighter. The story updates and pa ...more
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jamie takes a babysitting job replacing a girl who died the summer before. Soon she believes she is seeing her ghost. However, Jamie is not the most likable or the most reliable narrator. Tighter is a well written and quick read and it kept me guessing till the very end.
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
What a great twisted book. I wanted a short, easy book to read while I'm recovering from surgery. Something that I didn't have to focus too much on. Surpise, suprise, surpise. This book was seriously screwy and I loved it.

First, Jamie is a pill popping girl with lots of issues. Her mom sends her to Little Bly to work as an au pair. There is hints that Jamie's mom knows that Jamie is a bit more screwed up and is trying to "save" Jamie by sending her away.

Jamie quickly learns that something is s
Jul 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, horror, gothic-horror
A clever modern take on Henry James's classic Turn of the Screw.

Is Jamie really being haunted by the ghosts? Or is it her constant pill popping? Or worse..... could it be she's just CRAZY? That's the mystery here and one that's extremely well developed. Tighter's relatively short length keeps the plot taut thereby ratcheting up the tension. The end was a tad rushed, but the final twist makes the story an instant reread.

A near perfect YA psychological thriller.
Wanted: One au pair, preferably the splitting image of this dead girl who died in a plane crash one year ago. Ability to down enough narcotics to take down a squadron of UFC fighters = A HUGE PLUS. Crushed on your high school teacher hardcore then tried to make a move but got rejected? NO PROBLEM. Bilingual (can understand Lisp. I think it's an Asian language but idk). The better you can conceal you are a dirty, commie townie = $$$. If you feel you are qualified for this position, hmu - Miles Mc ...more
Jun 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book was a modernized and very unfortunate retelling of Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw. Which means the author’s only job was the modernization part. This included but was not limited to giving one of the characters with the most amount of dialogue a lisp (reading words like thuthpithuth will make you want to punch yourself in the face) and changing the main character into a teenager with a vocabulary that included words like “unsuckuppy” and “nerderrific” and who has a prescription pil ...more
I didn't get very far into this when I realized I completely disliked the main character, and didn't want to spend any more time reading about her.
Jun 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
I love a good ghost story. One of my favorites of all time is Heart-Shaped Box. Now that is one freaky book. I was a little skeptical about going into this with high expectations since it is YA and all; it turned out to be one of the darker types of YA books.

Jamie is a very disturbed 17 year-old with an awful pill addiction. After suffering a back injury she hasn’t been able to quite kick the habit. Her mother, concerned with her recent behavior and thinking she may be suffering from depression,
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Battling depression after a back injury during track, Jamie’s mom gets her a job as an au pair for the summer on the island of Little Bly, vacation spot for the uber-wealthy. What she didn’t anticipate is that she is a near look-a-like for the former nanny, a young girl who died in an accident with her boyfriend the previous summer. Or that their spirits would be hanging around the mansion causing mischief and anguish for those left behind.

The story builds from there as Jamie battles her own de
Lisa Roecker
Nov 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
From the perfect package--this cover is what creepy is made of, to an incredibly descriptive setting, which brought to mind the gorgeous home from the movie Evening (if you've ever seen it), Adele's TIGHTER has it all. From the moment we meet Jamie, we learn that she's suffering from something in her past and to combat the pain, she abuses whatever pills she can get her hands on. I have to say, this character trait, which I've never really read before in YA, is fascinating. Her mind is in a cons ...more
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was ok

I had a hard time getting interested in picking this up when I'd put it down. And the twist at the end just...wasn't done as well as other books that have some similar things.

Meh. Not for me. A good pick for those who like mysteries and twists on classic stories.
Connie T.
This was an interesting story but the writing had issues.

As the summer progresses, Jamie's hold on reality slips more and more. Is it the pills? Are they helping her to cope or are they making her delusional? (I think her injury should've been stressed a bit more in the beginning of the book. I didn't realize she was still dealing with her pain. I thought it was just an excuse for her addiction.) As a result, Jamie is such an unreliable narrator!

And what about Isa?! She is unlike any 11-year-ol
Jodi Lamm
Oct 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
I added Tighter to my to-read list knowing what it was, I'm sure, but somewhere along the way I forgot. All I remembered was that it was a book by Adele Griffin, who was the author of another ghost story I enjoyed: Picture the Dead. I'm glad I forgot that Tighter was a modern YA retelling of The Turn of the Screw because, aside from the chuckle I had when I finally understood the title, I went into the story without every little nuance of the original floating around my head, and that was a good ...more
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted at:

Actual Rating: 3.5/5

Tighter is one of those stories that creeps along, events unfolding with a deliberate slowness that causes our bodies to wind up and coil like a spring, just waiting for the moment when we'll be startled into sudden movement. For the duration of this tale we are deliciously tense–though our tenseness is strictly anticipatory rather than derived from a great deal of action or intensity–and we absor
Oct 23, 2013 added it
Little Bly is a postcard picture of sun-bleached sand and blue sky for miles, fresh-fried crab and the smell of sunscreen, beautiful people with windswept hair and sparkling summer mansions. Idyllic and closely-knit, it is the quintessential image of paradise, a town marred by nothing but a hint of upper-class snobbery. Its summer residents are serene and carefree, ensconced in their island's bubble of bliss.

Yes, Little Bly could not be a more enticing vacation destination for the extremely weal
Maggie Guerra
Mar 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 14, 2011 rated it liked it
I wish there were 1/2 stars because I would give this a 3.5*.

I am glad that I tried another of Adele's books, after not caring for "The Julian Game". This book I truly enjoyed and finished in only a matter of hours.

The story is about a girl named Jamie, who is having problems back home, such as depression and addiction to pills. She hurt herself in track, I believe it was, and was prescribed pills for that. She just continued using them to help with her depression, and when they seemed to not he
Eva Mitnick
Oct 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
It starts out most promisingly, with a troubled 17-year-old girl named Jamie getting what sounds like a cushy summer job babysitting a rich 11-year-old girl named Isa on a ritzy resort island in New England. Naturally, there has to be a catch. First there's the matter of the tragic death of last year's nanny, Jessie, and her boyfriend Peter. Then there's the dour housekeeper Connie and Isa's disturbing older brother Milo. Finally, there's the matter of that ghost that keeps popping up and doing ...more
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a modern retelling of The Turn of the Screw - although, pathetically, I can't comment on it because I've never read The Turn of the Screw. I have seen a film version from which I remember the gist of the story - enough to recognize the retelling - but that's not enough to comment on what Griffin chose to change, apart from the obvious time period and setting. And I'm assuming James' heroine wasn't popping pills.

On its own merits, it works as a suspenseful, often creepy story, the kind th
Sep 15, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Young
Oct 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-lit-2011-12
Genre: Supernatural, Mystery

Rating: ***
I enjoyed this mysterious tingle of a story. The struggle of Griffin’s Jamie in dealing with changes in her own belief system is wonderfully done.

When teenage Jamie moves to a small town to work as an au pair, she becomes involved in a world of teenage drama and paranormal experience. Soon after arriving, she learns of the death of a young couple… and that is only the beginning to this tingling story.

Main Characters:
Jamie: teenager, moves to Little
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
It seems like it took me forever to read this book and honestly, for me, it was forgettable. I had a very hard time relating to the main character Jamie and had a hard time getting into the book in general. Again, this is just me, but the story started off so slow and didn't really pick up... ever! It was just strange when Jamie started becoming fascinated with the deaths of Jessie and Pater, on top of that, finding out that Connie was just entertaining the whole Milo thing was just flat out wei ...more
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
This was certainly a fast and entertaining read. But, overall, I felt rather unsatisfied with the ending. The resolution felt rushed, and that so much of the build-up went wasted. In addition, there weren't really enough "clues" leading up to the conclusion, and it felt a bit like that aspect should have been researched a bit more. Had I read Turn of the Screw along with this, maybe it would have felt more complete, but as a standalone novel, I never really connected with any of the characters. ...more
Sep 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a neat little modern reworking of Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw." Seventeen-year-old Jamie becomes an au pair on Little Bly Island after a troubled year at home. There, she meets her charge Isa, Isa's brother Milo, and Connie, the housekeeper. As an outsider, she struggles to fit in, especially because of the dark secret hanging over her appearance on the island. A fairly faithful retelling with interesting characters, and a quick read. I'll look for more Griffin to read. >^..^< ...more
May 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Thanks to goodreads giveaways! I liked this book. It was a very easy read and it hooked me quickly. I think the topics involved would be appropriate for 8th grade and higher. A few big twists and turns and a pretty good creep factor!
Tuyet Bui
Feb 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
I will not recommend this book because it was so boring and flat. It made me feel sleepy and I didn't want to read it. I was thinking about abandoning it but I didn't because I thought it was going to get better but apparently, it didn't and I hate the book.
Leanna (daisychainbooks)
Dec 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! This has everything I love in a book!

Full review soon on my blog!
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction, 2011
The ending is unsatisfying and ambiguous in the worst possible way, but the story up until the end is quite well-done. Creepy, yes, but less a ghost story than an examination of a tormented mind.
Lupinus Texensis
Feb 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
This is a two star book, with an accurate portrayal of mental illness. Now it's just a one star book.
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“What are you burning?" On a glance, just some papers.
"I write in a journal." He spoke below his breath, so that his words weren't quite for me. "Because I like to see everything written down. So that I know it really happened. That I wasn't just making it up. Then I read it and memorize it. And then I have to destroy the hard evidence."
I thought of my own journal, the muddle of every page. All those unfiltered, lunatic letters to Sean Ryan.
"What is it, exactly, that you need to destroy?"
"Everything that I don't want to be true.”
“Peter and Jessie were like Romeo and Juliet. Have you ever seen that old movie? Starring Leonardo Dicaprio?” 2 likes
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