Author: Holly Schindler
Publisher: HarperTeen (August 26, 2014)
Description: The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan in this haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.
It's too late for you. You're dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a new start. But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger. Her fears are confirmed when she discovers the dead body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town's feral cats. Claire knows there's more to this "accident" than meets the eye. But the closer she gets to finding out the truth, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself. . . .
My Thoughts: Sensitive readers are courting nightmares by reading this intense, scary, and graphic story. It begins with a young woman's body being dragged into the woods and being hidden. The girl - Serena - hasn't gone on though and graphically describes what she is feeling and her helplessness to do anything about it.
Then the story switches viewpoint characters to Claire Cain who is coming to the same small town hoping for a fresh new start after being brutally beaten by a group of young men and almost dying. Her first experience in the town is listening to a group of Serena's friends wondering where she is.
Claire is dealing with her own trauma and trying to keep it secret from the students at her new school because she knows that people who know what happened to her treat her like she is different and fragile. She is determined to put the incident behind her but can't control the nightmares that bring it back again and again.
When she discovers Serena's body, she is swept into trying to figure out what happened to her. After all, both were budding journalists and curiosity was their common trait. The story could be a ghost story as Claire is sure that Serena is trying to tell her something. It could also be a horror story with vengeful ghosts trying to take over her body and feral cats who seem to know things. It could also be the story of a girl struggling with a mental illness. Evidence supports each of those possibilities.
I would recommend this for the reader who loves psychological thrillers and wants a shiver to run up their spine. Oh, and who likes to sleep with the lights on.
She eyed the faces surrounding her table, wondering why so many people insisted on being books that spent the entirety of their high school years in one genre section—mystery (the loners), romance (the jocks and the cheerleaders), literary (the brains and nerds, sci-fi (the socially inept)—and never wandered anywhere else.I got this eARC through Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.