Book Title: The Telling
Author: Alexandra Sirowy
Genres: YA, Mystery, Contemporary
Date Read: 08/06/16
Pub Date: 08/02/16
Lana used to know what was real.
That was before when her life was small and quiet.
Her golden step-brother, Ben, was alive, she could only dream about bonfiring with the populars, their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell the truth from lies, and Ben’s childhood stories were firmly in her imagination.
Then came after.
After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, and living with nerve and mischief. But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten: Love, blood, and murder.
I’m fully aware that this might be a simple case of “not the right reader for this book”. I usually enjoy a good YA novel, especially if it’s a mystery/thriller type, but this one just seemed to lack all the suspense and thrilling notion to propel me forward. Sure, it was an easy read and it did have some parts that gripped me; overall, this wasn’t a terrible book, it just wasn’t great. This story had a major “meh” factor for me.
On paper, this book sounded necessary. That blurb hooked me immediately and I couldn’t press the request button on NetGalley fast enough. I waited in agony for MONTHS to be approved, thinking they were just waiting for the archive date to pass where it would disappear off my pending list, but I got that blessed email (you know the one; don’t pretend you don’t have a brief fist pumping moment) and knew it was my time to shine. This was going to be one of my top YA books of the year! Unfortunately, I think I put too much expectation and pressure on this one, which caused the flat feeling to fall a little harder than it might have otherwise.
I think my major issue with this book was its predictability. The characters, the “mystery”, the whole plot really was just too expected. I’ve read other reviews that state this, so I won’t harp, but early on, you have that “I think it is so and so but it can’t be because it’s too early and there have to be some red herrings so thank God I KNOW IT’S NOT THIS PERSON” moment, but in the case of this book, it is that person. What a let down. There wasn’t much suspense revolving around who did it, which for a book that heavily leans on that factor to give it credibility, was a huge downfall for me. I also felt some of the fluff could have been cut; if they had ended up cutting a good 50-75 pages it would have sped up the pacing without taking away any necessary information. I wasn’t really a fan of any of the characters, so that was a bummer as well.
There isn’t much else I can say; I felt the author was talented in her writing style, she just could have made the mystery a little more difficult and given the characters a little more depth and humanity (yes, even YA novels need this). I don’t blame her for the extra padding in the story; I feel that’s a joint effort between the editors and author. She had me hooked just enough where I would likely check out her next piece to see if any of my issues were improved in the future.
*I received my copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thankful for the opportunity!