Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield (Review)

Young Adult, Mystery, Paranormal
Publication.Date  September 11, 2012
Published By:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers
WebsiteSophie Littlefield

Hanging by a Thread on Goodreads
My review copy:Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Where to get:

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?

Not all clothes. And not all the time. Its been happening since before I was old enough to understand what my meant.
Rachel knew things she wasn't telling me. All of it seemed connected, and not in a good way. The people I knew best, the people I cared about in Winston, had a dark side that I had only begun to recognize, much less understand.
She dug in her pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper. She smoothed it out on her knee, and I could see it was a lined page from a spiral notebook. In block letter written with a Sharpie, it said, "YOU'RE NEXT."

  How could anyone pass up reading this book with its beautiful cover and interesting description?  Personally I hadn't yet seen this one floating around and I'm surprised because it was a really interesting read that held a fairly consistent pace.  It was the type of book that kept you guessing and turning the pages because you wanted to get to the point you had it figured out.  I liked that it was more mystery and had a hint of the paranormal with Clare's visions.  Not to mention that I really loved Clare's other talent: taking vintage clothing and making it into something new.  

  Once again I found myself in love with the setting and the time that this book was set... or I guess I should say the date and the timing.  By reading the description you know exactly when and where: Winston, California and the 4th of July celebration.  It does start slightly before then but you wouldn't have had much time to get set up and figure some things out if the author had put you right from the start in the middle of the celebration.  No, you get the time to meet the town and its residents, get a feel for what you are dealing with.  Some people may find that the plot is typical because Clare has just moved to this town and has to get right down to business but what makes it different is that Clare came from this town, it isn't new to her and she knows some of the people.  What also made the plot unique was Clare herself but read on for that information.

 There was never a moment that I doubted that I would like Clare.  Beyond her unique gift of seeing what a person is like through articles of clothing, she was realistic and likable.  There was no doubt in my mind that she would do what needed to be done even though it scared the crap out of her at times and I can't blame her because if an article of clothing all but took on a life of its own I would loose it.  Something that is seriously notable was that she had a mind of her own despite wanting to fit in and be more noticed she wasn't willing to just drop something or someone without a valid reason.  To me that speaks volumes about Clare as a character and her strength because too many female leads just go along for the ride for the most part and only use their own mind when something drastic happens.

  Rachel and Jack are the only other characters rather than Nana that I think really stood out for me but talking about Nana could ruin certain aspects of the book so I will forgo her.  Rachel is basically the girl to be in Winston and childhood friend of Clare and for the most part I really did enjoy her.  She was a good friend and encouraged Clare's talent for design, helping her start up a beach side business to sell it all.  The bad was that there was a point that you just knew that she was lying to Clare and keeping things from her while spiraling out of control.  She also came off a little controlling at times but I guess it was because she wanted to ensure Clare got the status she wanted.  Jack I liked right from the get go.  He is the bad boy to a T but he also has a side that he seems to keep closed off from most people.  Once again there is reasons why that is and reasons why you see the other side but you will have to read the book to see what and why.

  Hanging by a Thread was so easy to fall into and read.  This being my first book by Sophie Littlefield, I found that her writing flows naturally and I will without a doubt be looking further into getting my hands on one of her series.  Looking at the different series earlier I understood why this particular author handled rolling a few different elements into one great read so well.  I would recommend this book to people that are looking for a read that they can pick up and enjoy from start to finish with steady characters and a great plot, not to mention the people that want a mystery with a little bit of paranormal and romance thrown in.

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