by Tara St. Pierre
YA / Paranormal / Romance
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Hannah McCauley doesn’t look at herself in the mirror anymore.
After a rebellious past, she now attends a strict private school in a new town, where her recently divorced mother has put her on social lockdown. No driving. No bad grades. No skipping classes. No unapproved friends. No makeup. No boys. And the subject of her best friend from her old school is definitely forbidden.
Hannah is being punished for something that happened a year earlier, something that she would like to put behind her. But strange occurrences frighten her, and she’s accused of breaking rules and doing other terrible things without any recollection of them. No one believes her, so she starts distrusting everything, even her own reflection.
Is she being haunted by her past? Stalked by someone with a grudge? Or is it all in her head? If she doesn’t figure out what’s happening fast, her existence could end up irreparably shattered.
Quick Reasons: THOSE MORALS, THOUGH!; this is as close to a “life-ruiner” as I’ve gotten in a while; maybe a bit too much focus on the romance and not enough on the friendship; slight warning for mature/sensitive subjects; awesome, well-rounded, complex plot and characters!
HUGE thanks to Tara St. Pierre for sending me a free egalley of this title in exchange for a voluntary honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
Having now finished TWO of her novels, I think it’s safe for me to say that Tara St. Pierre is one of those authors with imaginations that know NO bounds. Because I read her debut novel last year, I went into this book TOTALLY blind–and let me tell you, I am so so glad that I did! Because I had no preconceived notions of what this book was about, I was able to take the journey in an unbiased and completely open way, which was both an awesome experiment and something I hope to experience again in the future.
This book was just…. GAAAAAH! I knew, from the first book I read of hers, that I was bound to stumble upon an incredibly moving, absolutely unique premise. Let me tell you, I was in absolutely no way disappointed! This novel takes a pretty old idea–being able to look at yourself in the mirror–and twists it into something unrecognizable, yet still completely relatable. When I reached the end, I sat here staring at the last line in total awe at just how far the morals and lessons stretched for this read. Seriously, coming out on the other side of these pages, I grasped the message entirely–and bow down to Tara St. Pierre for tackling such an abstract concept head-on, and making it into this gorgeous journey!
I just… I cannot sing enough praises for this novel! I did feel, at times, that the focus on the romance came out a bit too steeped for my taste. There are some awesome, complex side-characters that sort of get kicked off to the wayside in the course of this book, and while this is both realistic and understandable given the circumstances…. I just felt as if those friendships might have done better to be more cultivated. Especially when the bomb near the end drops and they get pulled into the middle of the chaos–they accepted the strange situation VERY easily, and I couldn’t quite wrap my head around how quickly they pulled together to help Hannah.
Still, this was an entertaining and beautifully inspiring journey…and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at a mirror in quite the same way again! Tara St. Pierre DID include some potentially triggering, mature subjects, so for sensitive readers–please, please keep yourselves safe! The characters are complex and vibrant, the plot is filled with twisty-turny vines and angst, and that ending! OH, MY PENGUINS, that ending is just glorious! I’d recommend this to lovers of unique premises, emotionally-challenging journeys, and characters who find their strength and come out on top in the end. Take a look in the mirror today, Penguins; this book just might change your point of view.