Genre: Supernatural, Mystery, Young Adult
Publication Date: September 11, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Hardcover borrowed from school library.
Synopsis: 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?
I picked this book up about two Fridays ago when I was in the mood for murder. I don’t mean I wanted to murder someone – that’d just be creepy – but that I wanted to read a good murder story. Of course, everything I read has to have at least a morsel of romance in it, and based on the synopsis and tags/labels on this novel, it seemed to fit the bill. It also helped that the title and book cover were so cool.You’re probably thinking I hated this book since it took me about 1.5 weeks to read and review the book, but in reality, I finished half the book the Friday I got it, and the other half this last Friday. As I mentioned in my last post, it took abnormally long to finish this because of all the studying I had to do:/
Now, Clare, she is the perfect heroine for a book like this. She’s strong and pretty and courageous, and isn’t afraid to do the right thing. And she’s also great at fixing familial issues, which when you think about it, is probably why Amanda’s jacket “chose” Clare to bring its secrets to in the first place. I realize what I’m about to say is weird, but Clare reminded me a lot of the character Teddy from the Disney Channel show ‘Good Luck Charlie’. Both characters have great style and are great at reuniting estranged family members. I also happen to admire both characters’ spunk;) Alright, I’m done with the Disney reference. You can stop staring at me like I’m an alien now.
While the mystery aspect of the book was pretty well-developed and enjoyable, I felt like there wasn’t enough to it. Everything that happened seemed basic, without depth, and though it’s probably what you’d expect from a small town like Winston, I was disappointed since I was hoping for something a little more involved. I wanted to be scared out of my mind (though not enough I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep), and I wanted to be proven wrong about my suspicions about who the murderer(s) was/were. In that last point, the book certainly did not deliver. At the mention of almost each suspect, I knew for a fact that it was a red herring. While I’ll admit I didn’t realize who the actual murderer was until almost the very end, about a second before Clare herself realized who it was, I was positive about who it wasn’t, and that means it’s too predictable. I want to make it clear though that even though there was nothing even remotely scary about the book when I was reading it, even now, as I’m typing up this review, I’m starting at all the creaks in the house and looking behind my shoulder every few seconds. Not good.
Like I said before, the fact that this book contained romance was one of the two reasons I checked it out. I was glad that the romance wasn’t the main part of the plot, but I did wish it was more believable. I think of myself as pretty gullible, and even I was doubting whether or not Jack was the good guy, what with his history and all. And speaking of, the book never really told us all the facts about him, like what exactly Clare saw in his head the first time she touched his clothes. Also, Clare and Jack literally met twice before Jack was throwing punches to defend Clare’s honor, and the two were trying to decide whether or not to be boyfriend and girlfriend. Does that seem realistic to you? Still, Jack added another bit of mystery to the storyline, and I can’t say that wasn’t a good thing. I hate to admit it, but I think I actually would have liked this book better if Jack was involved in more of the mystery. Oh well. I guess I’ll just have to learn to get used to more mystery and less romance. I doubt too much love is healthy anyways.
So overall, even though ‘Hanging by a Thread’ wasn’t exactly what I’d been hoping for when I picked up the book, it was a pleasant read, and apparently did succeed in creeping me out. I’ll have to read or watch something sickly romantic before I can go to bed now. I’d recommend this book to people from middle school to early high school, since the plot wasn’t as detailed as it could have been. People who frighten easily, this book isn’t scary when you’re reading it, but watch out for the aftereffects *looks over shoulder*.