Published by HarperTeen (6.10.2014)
Genres: Mystery, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: eARC, 336 pages
Welcome to Gardnerville.
A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.
There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them.
Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all.
Wow, this story was delightfully twisted! I noticed going in that this book had some pretty low ratings on Goodreads, which had me worried. In the beginning I wasn’t sure I even wanted to read it, because it’s pretty freaking weird and confusing and I had no idea what the hell was going on. But, as the story went on, I started to get a feel for the creepy isolated town and what was happening there. And I loved it! This book was unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I enjoyed Quinn’s other book, Another Little Piece, and to quote my review of that one, Forget About Me was kinda f*cked up at times, and sometimes I wondered what the heck I was reading…but in a good way!
I’m a fan of twisted stories. I like weird, and I was intrigued. The town itself had a lot of secrets, but Sky had even more. I was curious to find out what really happened to Piper. And the fact that it was drawn out so long kept me interested rather than getting boring. It was the proverbial carrot dangling in front of your face: You can’t stop. You have to know! That’s how it was for me, anyway. View Spoiler »I started suspecting that Piper wasn’t real about halfway through. There were little snippets leading up to it that made me wonder, so I wasn’t really surprised to find that GG created her. My prediction was that she was a figment of Sky’s imagination. So I was pretty close! « Hide Spoiler
I don’t want to say much more without spoiler tags, because going in there’s not a whole lot that you know about the town and its occupants, which makes it more interesting! View Spoiler » The idea of a town where no one aged and strange things happened was very cool! I loved that everyone had weird powers or abilities – manipulating feelings, duplicating people, absorbing pain and hurt, mind control, stealing secrets, and my favorite: Turning people into werewolves! It was awesome. Also, the concept of a fourth year was very unique. Every four years the shit hits the fan, and strange and tragic things happen. Kids with abilities usually end up causing a lot of death, and get locked up in the reformatory. Which it was literally made of rats. Eeeeek. « Hide Spoiler
My favorite parts of this story were the flashbacks. The way they were written was very engaging because it was in Sky’s point of view, but she was talking to Piper, so the pronoun “you” was used, which kind of made it feel like she was talking to you as the reader. I was very impressed with Quinn’s prose! Also, the headline of every flashback is a different 80’s song. Bonus points from the 80’s baby! (Although every flashback chapter I got the song stuck in my head, haha.)
Despite my enjoyment of the story and it’s twisted aspect, what ultimately kept me from giving this a higher rating was my lack of feeling for any of the characters. Notice that my feels and character ratings are very low as compared to the rest of my assessment ratings? There was no emotion to this story. I didn’t care about the characters, sadly.
Do I recommend this book? Well, I definitely think it’s not for everyone. But if you enjoyed Another Little Piece, or you don’t mind weird (and I mean really weird), you’ll probably like this one too!
Writing style: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5