Friday, February 10, 2012

Review: Harbinger by Sarah Wilson Etienne

Book: Harbinger by Sarah Wilson Etienne
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy 
Buy A Copy: Amazon | Book Depository
Available Formats: Ebook / Hardcover

Publication Date: February 2nd, 2012

How Did I Get This Book: From Author, For Review
First Sentence: "My nose prickled with the stench of dead flowers and mildew."

"Girl, Interrupted" meets "Beautiful Creatures" in this fast-paced thriller
When sixteen-year-old Faye arrives at Holbrook Academy, she doesn't expect to find herself exactly where she needs to be. After years of strange waking visions and nightmares, her only comfort the bones of dead animals, Faye is afraid she's going crazy. Fast. 

But her first night at Holbrook, she feels strangely connected to the school and the island it sits on, like she's come home. She's even made her first real friends, but odd things keep happening to them. Every morning they wake on the floors of their dorm rooms with their hands stained red. Faye knows she's the reason, but what does it all mean? The handsome Kel tries to help her unravel the mystery, but Faye is certain she can't trust him; in fact, he may be trying to kill her - and the rest of the world too. 

Rich, compelling writing will keep the pages turning in this riveting and tautly told psychological thriller.
I'm a bit on the fence about Harbinger. You see, I really, really wanted to adore it. The cover is beautiful, the concept is superb and the writing is absolutely gorgeous. So naturally, I thought that it would become of one of my favorite new books.

The problem I had - the only problem was that I was completely and utterly confused about 3/4 of the way through the book. Things take a crazy turn and I will admit that I got absolutely lost in the story. I was loving everything; the characters, the setting and the mysterious storyline and then Etienne threw in a huge plot-twist. For me, it was just too much. I didn't really understand what was happening and the book just left me completely and utterly confused. And because I was so invested in the characters and story, I was really put off by it. I wanted to understand what was going on.

But you know, that may just be me.  I am sure that some of you will follow along beautifully. So, I would recommend that you give Harbinger a chance because (from what I understood) it was a beautiful book. It's dark, creepy, intense and exciting. Plus, like I said, the writing is absolutely lovely. I mean, look at all of the quotes I pulled - I obviously enjoyed that factor of the book. I'm going to have to give Harbinger 3 stars, because of the all the confusion. However, for others (who understand everything), I could easily see it being a 4-5 star book.

Favorite Quotes:
I'd learned early on that secrets were insidious things. And I had my own. Maybe the only reason people avoided my eyes was because they saw the wrongness in them.
This wasn't panic, this was madness. 
Old memories fluttered in their cages and then vanished again as the air stilled.
THen he looked straight at me, and I saw a flicker of fear  in his eyes before he looked away. Like I was an escaped tiger who might attack at any second. I had the urge to do just that. To rave and scream and claw. But my sense of defeat overwhelmed everything else.
"I was about to scream bloody murder when my stepmom popped her head in and told me to brush my teeth. 'Cause of course, dental hygiene is super important when you're being kidnapped."
It was like learning a new language, this back and forth. Kel's voice was sad and rough and funny all at the same time, and it made me want to tell him things. 
She locked me in the dark and I said thank you.
It was more intoxicating than I ever imagined to have someone look at me like that. To let them see into me without flinching. 
Was it so obvious that I was broken?
Because when Kel touched me, I was terrified. Terrified and so very alive.
A few heads were nodding now. They might not know what she was talking about,but they could smell blood. 
His eyes flicked up and speared mine. Splaying my thoughts wide open. Every buried yearning sizzled to the surface. And as I burned, the world froze around me. The fence, the chatter, the Takers dropped away, and all that was left was an island of us.
But I didn't want to be his. I wanted to run through the dark. I wanted the hot breath of night against my skin. I wanted to be touched, but not eclipsed.
It's all fun and games until someone gets a Taser in the crotch.



Unknown said...

Thanks for this honnest review ! I've heard mixed things about this book but I really want to read it !
But I'm a little bit afraid now after reading your review when you say that you were lost for most of the book. And i'm french, english is not my first language so maybe it would be even more difficult for me to read this book ^^.
Anyway I'll try maybe to read it soon :).

Anonymous said...

I really didn't enjoy the book that much. It was beautifully written and had a lovely cover, but it was really creepy to me. Very pagan! Some people might enjoy it, but I just didn't. And it was a very confusing book for me as well. Too much happening at once. There were some wonderful quotes in it too, but it just wasn't my cup of tea. I read the whole thing on my kindle in about three or four hours then returned it immediately because it left me with a really creepy feeling in my gut, but maybe that's just me.

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Oh I hate when a book throws me for a loop. I don't like the feeling of being confused. But I love that cover. Thanks for the helpful review.

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