Author: Carrie Jones
Published: 23rd December, 2008
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Zara White suspects there’s a freaky guy semi-stalking her. She’s also obsessed with phobias. And it’s true, she hasn’t exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But exiling her to shivery Maine to live with her grandmother? That seems a bit extreme. The move is supposed to help her stay sane…but Zara’s pretty sure her mom just can’t deal with her right now.
She couldn’t be more wrong. Turns out the semi-stalker is not a figment of Zara’s overactive imagination. In fact, he’s still following her, leaving behind an eerie trail of gold dust. There’s something not right – not human – in this sleepy Maine town, and all signs point to Zara.
In this creepy, compelling breakout novel, Carrie Jones delivers romance, suspense, and a creature you never thought you’d have to fear.
What an… interesting… read…
Zara has just lost her step-dad, whom she thought of as her real dad and is finding it incredibly hard to cope. Zara’s mother decides she should send Zara to live with her grandmother for a while in Maine in the hopes of lifting Zara’s spirits. Zara hates her mother for sending her away like this, especially to such a small, cold and dreary little town.
Ever since her step-dad passed away Zara has noticed this creepy guy randomly turning up and watching her, she see’s him back in Charleston before she leaves then to her horror she see’s him again in Maine just as she arrives. She realises this creepy guy is probably stalking her, she decides to find out just who this creep is and why he keeps turning up where ever she goes.
Meanwhile trying to fit in in Maine isn’t as hard as she expected.
Soo I didn’t quite like Zara that much, there was nothing that really stood out about her and I found her to be incredibly stubborn and at times pretty dumb in her actions. I couldn’t really relate to her with her weird fascination of phobias and holding on to things way too much. At first I liked her, right at the beginning, but then as I continued to read I felt like she never really grew or changed. She felt very flat unfortunately.
Issie was a weird little thing. I liked her at times but then she became too bubbly and hardly bearable at all. She was just so energetic that it was a little exhausting near the half way point. Are there really people in the world that are so energetic all the time? She was so trusting and naive just like a little child, I liked this until it started grating on my nerves. I felt this because that’s all she ever was in the book. Always bubbly and energetic, always child-like. No dimension.
Nick was mysterious and explained as very handsome many times in the book. He was very protective and became Zara’s ‘hero’ after he ends up saving her a few times. I thought he was pretty cool but also I thought he was very stereotypical of the character. He wasn’t very original nor very deep.
I just couldn’t relate to any of the characters in this book, maybe I could with Zara at first with losing a parent and all but that stopped shortly after she arrived at Maine. I think the writing also had to do with this because the main reason I couldn’t relate to anyone was because of the way they spoke, the way they acted or the way they thought. Nothing clicked with me. I felt like all these characters were flat, as if they had no dimension.
I just wasn’t sold on this world, I just could not believe it completely. Things weren’t real enough. I wasn’t drawn in and made to believe that these things were real. Zara’s actions alone weren’t very believable. Seriously if there’s some creepy guy stalking you you would not go into the forest where you know he’s hiding and try to seek him out. That’s just plain stupid. Common sense would usually step in here.
I feel that the main reason I feel like this is because of the quick conclusion by everyone that there are paranormal beings in this world. They decide to google a stalker (When I read that all I could think of is how does that help the situation? A stalker is a stalker, googling about them will not help them find out who it is) and immediately come up with a paranormal being as an answer. I mean how do you even jump to that conclusion by just googling ‘Stalker that points’? I do not understand. I probably missed something huge.
I have to say that the writing of this book was not that good unfortunately. Yes it was understandable, yes it was easy to read, mostly… But there were so many cliché’s that at times I cringed so much I actually felt dizzy. This book at times felt like a walking cliché its self.
The way Zara spoke sometimes just didn’t feel real, it felt unnatural, she would either state the facts all the time as if no one already knew them, just talk about things that didn’t matter, or she would go on mini little rants and refuse to listen to anyone. Then sometimes she just accepted things without questioning enough.
I rolled my eyes so much with the dialogue and I found myself cringing in some parts that I just couldn’t get over it.
One thing (Maybe the only thing…) that I absolutely loved about this book was that every chapter was named after a phobia. Then that chapter would be themed after that phobia. I thought that was a pretty cool idea. Phobias was a re-occurring theme in this book that the character pretty much had an obsession over.
Soo I had no idea that this book was about pixies, which is pretty much a type of faerie. I’m not very fond of faerie books. Luckily this wasn’t anything like the faerie books that I dislike so much but there were still some elements that made me cringe. I actually think I’m afraid of faeries, as if they were real… There were also other paranormal beings in this book.
I think when I picked up this book I expected some sort of paranormal, yet I was still wasn’t sold on it as I read. The whole paranormal thing for some reason I found just didn’t tie in as cleanly as one would expect if it were the norm in that world. So I found myself rolling my eyes a lot.
I also found that everything was pretty obvious. As if the clues for the end were wearing fluro coloured vests that light up in the dark while screaming: “I’m the reveal! I’m the reveal!”… Seriously, because it was obvious it felt like Zara was just plain stupid. Or she chose to ignore all of the clues. The readers don’t ignore the clues. So because we figured out the clues before Zara that really made me lose interest in the book. But I kept reading because I wanted to know how it ended. And yet, there were a few surprises that I hadn’t expected, so well done to Jone’s for managing to hide those.
The romance just annoyed me.
1. It was wayy too obvious,
2. There was hardly any proper build up or any ‘getting to know you and fall head over heels for you’ moments, it actually just happened out of thin air, it wasn’t insta-love though,
3. It felt like it was based off of attraction and that was it. No actual emotions involved, no connections, nothing like that,
4. I don’t like it when the romance is too easy. When the guy obviously likes the girl straight from the beginning, that’s just annoying and very boring. It makes it even worse when the girl doesn’t believe he likes her even though he’s said: “I like you, I really like you.” three times to her face. Come on woman! Stop playing dumb!
The development of pretty much everything was lacking. I felt like there was no dimension in anything except Zara’s step fathers death. Everything else was just there, with no past or meaning.
Err, sooo this book annoyed me for many reasons and pleased me with only very few.
Soo, after all of that, I’m not in any hurry to pick up the second book in the series.