Thursday, April 5, 2012
Hanging By A Thread - Sophie Littlefield
So my apologies for the delay: this whole 'college' thing is a real time sucker.
I got Hanging by a Thread through NetGalley, as usual, after Littlefield tweeted about it's avalibility. Being a fan of her post apocalyptic zombie book, Aftertime, I've been pretty interested in getting something else by her. Lucky me, I got accepted!
Hanging by a Thread is about Clare, a young girl who recently moved back to California in time for her sophomore year in high school. Clare is a designer who enjoys taking old clothes apart and turning them into something new, and her business so far has been pretty successful for a weekly stand run with an old friend. But as someone who deals so heavily with old clothes, Clare has a pretty big secret: when she touches old clothes, she can sometimes see what happened to the people who were wearing them. It's a skill her grandmother used to have, and it's one that Clare's mother has made her promise to ignore and let die. But after Clare finds a jacket she believes belonged to the girl who went missing last year, Clare's power gives her a clue that might lead her to discovering what happened to Amanda...if she can manage to not get hurt in the process.
Maybe it's because I'm already a fan of Littlefield and I was expecting a decent book, but I liked Hanging by a Thread. It wasn't a book I'm planning on gushing about to my book minded friends, but it was an enjoyable read and I wouldn't mind reading it again one day. I enjoyed the mystery, enjoyed the complexities of Clare's power, and I enjoyed guessing at the reason for Amanda's disappearance.
That being said, Hanging by a Thread is somewhat...bland, at times. The beginning of the book was a little slow, with far too much description and not enough action. After the admission of Clare's powers, the book does pick up a lot. But maybe not as much as it could have. A lot of the relationships between the characters aren't really gone into very much, and I feel the fact that Clare was a returning resident of the town with build in friendships was something of a cop out--the relationship between Clare and her once best friend isn't really developed very much, and is kind of just taken as a given. And Clare's love interest in this book...well, there isn't really anything -wrong- with the relationship so much as it isn't all that special. I can only remember one real 'development' point in their relationship off the top of my head, and the very nature of their relationship is cliche and overdone. He's the unpopular bad boy who she's continually told isn't a good guy for her...so of course he's the guy she somehow goes for.
But don't get me wrong, I did like Hanging by a Thread. I love unique types of powers, and seeing visions from clothes isn't one that I've read a lot. I though the mystery was great, the conclusion was pretty cool, and Clare's backstory was a really good look at what having powers can do to a family. But as much as I did enjoy the book, it had some pretty glaring flaws, and if I'm going to be honest, this isn't really a book that I'd recommend to everybody.
If you like reading about teens with unique powers, then Hanging by a Thread is something you might find interesting. If you like YA mysteries with a touch of supernatural, then I would recommend this book to you. But if you're one of the many YA fans today who are looking for an amazing romance aspect, or you're looking for a book about a teen who is a heavy power user...well, this isn't the book for you.
But if you are interested in reading about Clare's story, then Hanging by a Thread comes out in September 2012. Make sure you pick your copy up!