Thursday, September 06, 2012

Early Review: Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield

Hanging by a Thread
Hanging by a Thread
by Sophie Littlefield

Expected publication: September 11th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Summer is the best part of the year in Winston, California, and the Fourth of July is the highlight of the season. But the perfect town Clare remembers has changed, and everyone is praying that this summer will be different from the last two—that this year's Fourth of July festival won't see one of their own vanish without a trace, leaving no leads and no suspects. The media are in a frenzy predicting a third disappearance, but the town depends on tourist dollars, so the residents of Winston are trying desperately to pretend nothing's wrong.

And they're not the only ones hiding something.

Clare, a seamstress who redesigns vintage clothing, has been blessed—or perhaps cursed—with a gift: she can see people's pasts when she touches their clothes. When she stumbles across a denim jacket that once belonged to Amanda Stavros, last year's Fourth of July victim, Clare sees her perfect town begin to come apart at the seams.

In a town where appearance means everything, how deep beneath the surface will Clare dig to uncover a murderer?
Delacorte Books for Young Readers


My Review

After her parents were divorced, sixteen-year-old Clare Knight, a.k.a. Cee Cee, and her mother decided to return to the city they both grew up in. To the city where her very eccentric grandmother lives. To the house everybody believes to be haunted. And they move there close to the date when, for two years straight, there have been murders. First, a little boy, Dylan, was killed in a car accident. And a year later, a very popular teen, Amanda, disappeared without a trace. The culprit was never caught for either crime.

Claire creates new clothes from people's 'trash'. She's the ace of sewing and just loves her art. But her mother wants her to study and have a real future, one that does not involve art school. But it's her dream, and she's been saving any money she makes from her line, 'NewToYou' to pay for it. But there's one thing that sometimes give her beloved daily handling of clothes a bit of a bitter taste. Clothes speak to her. Just like they did to her grandmother. And her mother before her. But not all clothes and not all the time, only those wore by people during times of strong emotion. Such as fear. They bring her the vision of the moment lived by the owner of the clothes.

And Claire has just found the jacket Amanda, the second victim, was wearing minutes before being murdered. Now she just needs to fit all the pieces of the puzzle and find the murderer... before he finds her.

This book could've been much better. I have to admit I skipped quite a few paragraphs about sewing techniques and such, because, well... it was just boring to me. But I thought it was interesting to see how much it mattered to Claire, even with her 'ability' bothering her. I couldn't quite believe how fast she and Jack got so chummy, because in one sentence she's telling us how he terrifies her and how she can't trust him, and in the other she's all 'oh, I want his body, I need him to hold me'. I mean, really? Are you afraid or are you horny? Just decide already!  >.<'

About the revelation of the killers.... it took me a while to finally have a good idea of what really happened from the clues the book offered. They weren't exactly predictable because things weren't made very clear at all. I have to say I expected more. The ending felt rushed and kind of bland to me... the tension built and built and then I was like: 'That's what happened?'. Oh, and I still can't understand why there was so much talk about the house being haunted and the origins of her abilities if these things weren't going to be better explained. I mean, why put so much effort in introducing a haunted house if you're not even going to use it in the story??? O.o It doesn't make any sense!!!

Other thing that wasn't explained was what she saw when she touched Jack's shirt, why he was so upset, why she didn't recognize the killer when she was in 'Amanda's shoes' (or clothes, for that matter) and experienced the whole thing. I mean, Clare herself said the person looked familiar. But it took her the whole freaking book to figure it out? Sheesh... there's a lot of useless information in this book. Not even the romance (if you can call that romance) was able to save it for me. Too many loose threads for my taste, no pun intended.

If you like sewing and styling your own clothes, you'll like many parts of this book. But if you're looking for a story that was well planned and well delivered, and narration with content that actually makes sense and are important to the plot, then you might want to look elsewhere.

* I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*


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  2. "mean, really? Are you afraid or are you horny? Just decide already! >.<' "

    Haha, seems like an annoying and confusing book. Disappointed that the haunted house part didn't make sense. It seemed promising

  3. Hanging by a Thread was really interesting, and not like any book I've read before. I've read a ton of paranormals, books about psychic girls, or girls who have prophetic visions. But I've never read about psychometry, the ability to see visions from touching an object. Clare has a specific form of psychometry wherein she gets these visions from clothing, and they're often sinister, showing an evil deed the owner committed while wearing the piece.

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