I was incredibly disappointed in this book. I thought the premise of this book sounded really interesting but the execution fell a little flat. While I can’t say that I disliked the book, it was certainly a huge disappointment and definitely not the quality book I expected.
The biggest problem that I had with this book was the plot. The story itself sounds interesting enough; a young girl, Hannah, (who hears voices) ventures into the world of the dead in search of someone dear to her (I will try not to give anything away). While Hannah thinks that the “Watchers”, those in charge of the world, will be helpful towards her, really they are seemingly out to get her and cause Hannah to get into a whole whirl of trouble while in this new world. While the plot sounds interesting, it really wasn’t. Everything seems incredibly hard to believe and difficult to follow. I had a hard time believing in the series of events and the course of actions that the characters took.
Another problem that I had with this story was the writing style. The author writes in a style that is simplistic and choppy. There were times when I felt that the writing was way to simplistic; I understand that this is a young adult/young reader book but there where times when the writing seemed more aligned with the early-reader level. The writing style was also rather choppy. The author jumps around with his events and actions, not quite giving the reader enough description to keep up with all of the action.
The final problem that I had with this book were the characters. Hannah was just extremely hard to either relate to or like. First off is the fact that she’s hearing voices (her imaginary friends), which just had me thinking to myself throughout the story that she’d just experienced a mental breakdown and was just imagining everything. She also has a serious issue with stairs and if that isn’t a sign of mental instability in Hannah, I don’t know what is (you’ll understand further if you read the book). Hannah was also really hard to like and her actions just made me roll my eyes. She seemed a little snotty to me, not really understanding how to talk politely to others or showing any respect to those who are smarter/older than her. But don’t even get me started on her actions. Hannah makes some really (at least to me) stupid decisions. Rather than just staying politely in the cell once she’s been captured by the watchers and waiting to solve her problems civilly, Hannah allows “Albert” (another voice in her head/imaginary friend) to conjure up a storm to break her out of the cell.
Overall, I can’t say that I hated this book but it definitely wasn’t an enjoyable read. This book had an intriguing premise but the execution was lackluster at best. I would not recommend this book unless you are absolutely in love with unbelievable worlds, unlikable characters, and uninteresting plots.
I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.