Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ivy's Review on Harbinger

Author: Sara Wilson Etienne (@wilsonetienne)
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR
Release Date: February 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 320
Source: Bought
Rating: Reachable
Challenge: 2012 Debut Author Challenge
Extra: Trailer, FacebookAuthor Facebook, Website
Seek: Amazon, Goodreads
Plagued by waking visions and nightmares, inexplicably drawn to the bones of dead animals, Faye thinks she's going crazy. Fast. Her parents beleive Holbrook Academy might just be the solution. Dr. Mordoch tells her it's the only answer. But Faye knows that something's not quite right about Dr. Mordoch and her creepy, prisonlike school for disturbed teenagers.

What's wrong with Holbrook goes beyond the Takers, sadistic guards who threaten the student body with Tasers and pepper spray; or Nurse, who doles out pills at bedtime and doses of solitary confinement when kids step out of line; or Rita, the strange girl who delivers ominous messages to Faye that never seem to make any sense. What's wrong with Holbrook begins and ends with Faye's red hands; she and her newfound friends--her Holbrook "family"--wake up every morning with their hands stained the terrible brown of dried blood. Faye has no idea what it means but fears she may be the cause.

Because despite the strangeness of Holbrook and the island on which it sits, Faye feels oddly connected to the place; she feels especially linked to the handsome Kel, who helps her unravel the mystery. There's just one problem: Faye's certain Kel's trying to kill her--and maybe the rest of the world, too.

A rich and tautly told psychological thriller, Harbinger heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice in young adult fiction.
 The cover is actually really pretty.  The book cover is actually supposed to look like a tarot card, more spefically the Harbinger tarot card. The only thing missing is the swords.
Six statues stood in a circle, their mouths stretched in horror. One was turning to run. Another was howling up at the early-morning sky. Each of them in silent agony, trapped in some never-ending nightmare. And I was trapped with them.
I guess I should let you all on a little secret. When one of us doesn’t like a book we are reading, we give it to another Seeker to read. Danny gave this book to me to read because she couldn’t finish it. It wasn't what she thought it would be. If it wasn’t for the trailer, I don’t think I would have read this book. And to be brutally honest, it took me forever to bring my thoughts together on this book.

I guess I should give you some good points from the book. One, the writing was fantastic. I can truly give my compliments to Sara’s writing style. She kept me fascinated and I couldn't put the book down. I stayed up all night reading it.

Two, the plot was fairly paced and I enjoyed the story line. The mystery in this book will keep you guessing. No lie. This book is heavily on the mystery because my brain hurts trying to piece everything together. I read every single word in this book, trying to figure out what’s going on. In the end, it turns out some of my predictions were correct. And man, the ending was really good were it left you satisfied with what happened. You are able to leave the characters behind, but you will still think about them.

Three, the main character Faye draws you in to her craziness. Even her imaginations felt so real, and you're left wondering 'Um, did that just really happen?'. The rest of the characters just added to the creepiness of the story, and it makes you really curious about what's happening.

Now for one bad point. There was something I didn't quite like about the book, and I finally figured out what that was. Harbinger is set in the future during a war. Now being set in the future did make this book unique and a little more exciting, but I felt too confused about this future world.

But it just one bad point to many good points, so I still enjoyed the book. I do suggest burrowing it first though from a friend or library, to get a feel on the book before buying.

You know what I am probably going to do, like I do with pretty much every mystery book. Reread the book and know what’s happening before the character, because then I feel really smart. And who knows maybe I will enjoy it more the second time around.
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  1. I think it's great that you pass books on when they're not for you. I try to do the same -- I always hope I can find someone else who will appreciate what the book has to offer!

  2. Thanks for the great review. I have this book on my shelf waiting to be read. I am hoping to get to it soon.