Finished: Mar. 6, 2011
First Published: Feb. 8, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA, horror
Everything changes when Tiffany Quinn disappears.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.
Reason for Reading: I enjoyed the author's Wake trilogy so much there was no way I was *not* going to read her next book. However, the plot summary of this was so captivating I would have chosen to read it anyway.
I just love a good horror story and there really isn't that much available in the teen market these days in this genre. Good, old-fashioned, creepy horror story; that's what this is, forget about that paranormal romance stuff. This is the type of story that would have made a good X-Files episode. It starts with a missing teen girl in an extremely rural small town. It has a one room high school of 24 students. Then we meet and really get to know Kendall and Nico. They live on opposing farms and have grown up together; they are best friends, a couple and will everyone assumes will get married some day. Kendall is OCD and Nico is OK with that as he's used it. But then Nico disappears too. Kendall's OCD starts to act up worse because of the anxiety that she is under and she starts hearing voices, lots of whisperings, and is that Nico's voice crying out for help, to be saved? Then she finds messages scratched into his empty desk that only he could have left there and whether Kendall is going crazy or not she decides to try and help find the missing teens.
This is a really good, creepy story. Kendall's OCD is represented very well. We are given a look inside her mind and how it works, what it's like to be her. (As someone with an OCD diagnosis myself, I was pleased with her portrayal. I also enjoyed how her OCD became an integral part of the plot. The supernatural element to the horror story is a little confusing at first, but that's not a bad thing. We are made aware of this element before the characters and yet we can't understand what it really is. This eventually becomes clearer to us but both the reader and characters reach full understanding at the same time. The supernatural part is quite eerie and touches on one of those subjects that most people have nightmares about. Finally, the book ends with the expected creepy horror story ending.
I really enjoyed the book! I found it spooky, atmospheric and containing all the elements needed to create a gripping, fun horror story. Looking forward to Ms. McMann's next book which will be the start of a new trilogy, out in the Fall (2011).