Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield
The Skinny: When her mom moves them back to her hometown, Clare begins to reconnect with her old life – her friends, the town, her slightly eccentric grandmother. She and best friend Rachel set up shop – a small summer venture – selling the clothes that Clare, who aspires to be a fashion designer, has designed. Things seem to be going swimmingly until Clare begins digging through a bag of clothing she bought at a flea market and pulls out a jean jacket. You see, Clare has a secret “gift” – she can see visions of the owners of the articles of clothing she touches, learning their secrets and past deeds. In the jacket she sees a horrific event, one that leads her to believe it belongs to one of the victims of the town’s mysterious serial killer. Clare must choose whether to ignore it or investigate the vision she saw before another person becomes a victim.
BFF?: Clare is like the great character that wasn’t. I don’t know if it’s because I’m too old to connect with her, I’m out of touch with the way 16 year olds are today, I can’t relate to her because I was a goody-goody in high school, she was just not likable to me… I don’t know. There were several moments with her where I thought “okay, this doesn’t seem very realistic.” Such as her being overly cavalier about sex and saying she doesn’t believe you should wait for love to lose your virginity. Granted, I know not EVERYONE has this mentality but it sort of put me off to thinking she was a believable 16 year old.
Readability: Despite the weird premise, this was an easy read. It wasn’t too deep, you didn’t get lost in the complexity of the language or world-building. The book actually reminded me of the mystery/horror books of the 90s; bright, pretty, wealthy teens who are thrown into a mysterious situation. Littlefield does a great job of suspense building, keeping you just hooked enough to go on to the next page but not so overwhelmed that you have to take a break.
Crush Level: 5.3
Despite his weird last name, Jack was an okay guy for the book. Like any true “bad boy” in YA lit, you start out not really liking him but deep down are really turned on by him. He’s got some kind of crazy history, making him angry and cautious, but he has a definite soft spot for Clare and he really is a sweet guy. He’s just not winning any guest appearances in my literary hotties day dreams.
90s Teen Slasher
This book reminded me so much of Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer it’s not even funny. Right down to the part where one of the characters receives a mysterious note that says “You’re Next!”
Peaches the Dog
I used to have a cat named Peaches so to see another pet with her name made me happy and sad all over, but in a good way. The dog Peaches doesn’t really have a big part in this book, but it still made me smile to see the name.
After getting into this book for a while I started thinking about other small towns and their drama. Then it hit me. What is the best small town for this kind of drama? Ohhhh… Mystic Falls. And I don’t mean the vampire kind. I mean the “Did you hear Elena didn’t get into the Hoop Skirt Snotty Society? How embarrassing for her!” kind.
Clare’s grandmother’s husbands (both dead) were named Quinn and Doyle. Which of course made me think of Doyle from Angel, who was played by Glenn Quinn. Very sneaky, Ms. Littlefield!
As I mentioned above, I just didn’t connect with the teens in this book. I thought a lot of them were kind of stereotypically done. Of course, I was not part of the “cool” crowd when I was in high school so I don’t know how they partied. There just seems to be a lot of things done higgly-di-pigle-di here, such as drinking, sex, kissing, killing…
Commencement Speech: While this book will not be winning any of my awards, such as “Greatest Book Ever!” or “Top Shelf Novel” it was entertaining. I enjoyed it. It filled the dull afternoons at work and gave me some time to reminisce about how cool I was NOT in high school. I did love the mystery, the secrets, and the twists of the story though. While the visions from clothing didn’t really do it for me, I thought it was a great twist in the classic teen slasher book, giving it a paranormal feel but not solely focusing on it.
But I think Littlefield, who writes adult books, should stick to adult books. Based on her writing of this book, I imagine they’re fantastic reads. This one though left something to be desired.
Yearbook Quote: “It was this huge scandal when she didn’t get in freshman year,” Giselle said. “Everyone thought she was in for sure, being a legacy and all, but she partied a lot in middle school.”
(I mean, who didn’t party a lot in middle school. That’s certainly what kept me out of clubs in high school.)
Superlatives – Most Likely to make you want to design your own clothes
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