THE MURMURINGS by Carly Anne West

 In YA Paranormal


Author: Carly Anne West
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Genre: YA Paranormal Mystery
Format: E-Book, Hardcover
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Recommended Reading: AGE 16+

Contains no spoilers

THE GIST: The Murmurings is a terrifyingly twisted tale about whispers and creepy ghosts that haunt your mirrors. This book had the hairs on the back of my neck standing at attention, while at the same time telling a tender tale of loss and redemption. I enjoyed almost every page and although it felt a little disjointed at times, the characters were likeable and real. If you enjoy spooky YA with a dash of love and a heroine who makes odd, yet strong choices The Murmurings won’t likely disappoint.

SYNOPSISA teen girl starts hearing the same voices that drove her sister to commit suicide in this creepy, suspenseful novel.

Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.

As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not….

THE LOWDOWN: I began reading dark tales as a very young girl, my mother worrying about my peculiar fascination with all things scary. So when I saw the absolutely drop dead (pardon the pun) gorgeous and eerie cover, I knew this one was right up my alley. And it was, or perhaps I should say, would have been if I was a little younger. It’s not that this book wasn’t terrifying, or utterly creepy, it’s just that I’m now a desensitized adult and as a result, I’m pretty hard to scare.

The writing was solid and the authors narration, strong. I was pulled into the story right from the beginning and remained there throughout. However, I was a little disappointed with the disjointed narrative. The beginning starts off starkly different in tone from the second act. But, the progression is subtle enough that it wasn’t too distracting. There were parts of the protagonist’s social life, introduced in the beginning, that I enjoyed, yet the author chose to ignore this aspect as the story progresses. Perhaps, it was merely used as a device to make us understand the protagonists reactions to the many strange occurrences she encounters later.

Although not a love story, this book does have a sweet budding romance right in the middle of the dark grit, that plays like a glimmer of much needed hope in the midst of utter hopelessness. Conversely, the antagonists are truly sinister and the insane asylum backdrop is the perfect setting. Dark hallways, creepy mirrors, abusive orderlies and mad doctors all wreak havoc in this book. But it is more than just love and evil. This story gently touches on alcoholism, grief, suicide and mental illness. In fact, the subtext is almost more intriguing than the overtones.

If you love a good campfire tale with heart, pick this one up. It won’t scare the pants off you, but it will creep you out just enough to make you double-check your locks.

Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

Sara O'Connor
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