Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tighter by Adele Griffin

Tighter by Adele Griffin
Publication: May 10, 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
(208 pages, hardcover)
Summary: When 17-year-old Jamie arrives on the idyllic New England island of Little Bly to work as a summer au pair, she is stunned to learn of the horror that precedes her. Seeking the truth surrounding a young couple's tragic deaths, Jamie discovers that she herself looks shockingly like the dead girl—and that she has a disturbing ability to sense the two ghosts. Why is Jamie's connection to the couple so intense? What really happened last summer at Little Bly? As the secrets of the house wrap tighter and tighter around her, Jamie must navigate the increasingly blurred divide between the worlds of the living and the dead.
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Brilliantly plotted, with startling twists, here is a thrilling page-turner from the award-winning Adele Griffin.
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My thoughts: If there was one thing Tighter was, it was suspenseful. And not just oh-my-god-what-is-going-to-happen suspenseful, but staying up late at night, afraid of the dark suspenseful. It was definitely a book that stays with you for a while after you read it. The twists were uncalled-for and I was biting my nails right up to the very end. I'm not always the biggest fan of books with major twists and creepy settings that are freak-out worthy, but I thought the plot was well-written and I really enjoyed scaring myself while reading it.
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So, let's start out with the not-so-good, since I don't like to dwell on the parts of good books that aren't good. Jamie, who I liked fine (most of the time) was a nice girl, who is more than a little freaked out about the fact that she looks like the girl who had her job last year--and happens to now be dead. She's a bit irrational, caring, and average. But just a bit too average for my taste. I didn't ever feel a real connection with her, which probably wasn't Griffin's goal, but it kind of turned me off from the novel at times. At times when I knew I was supposed to be afraid for her, I wasn't really; she was just another character in the story, which isn't great when you're the protagonist.
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As for the rest of the characters, I kind of felt the same way. I liked them (or disliked them if they were obviously bad guys) and I felt like they were real enough. But they never really struck me as more than characters, like a background to what was happening and where they were. Which isn't normally how characters are supposed to work, nor was it something I liked about Tighter.
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Onto the good: the setting was completely creepy and intriguing, as was the story. Ghost stories seem to all be repeats of one another, with one or two little differences that don't really disguise how alike they all are. But Tighter was completely unique, and uneasy to predict. I was sucked into it after the firt few pages, and I couldn't put it down. It'd be hard to say more without ruining it or just repeating myself.
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The plot was extremely well-written, the setting was appropriately interesting and scary, the premise was original, and I just really enjoyed it. I even liked the writing style, which, while simple, was well-executed and kept me hooked. The only downfall, the characters, wasn't one big enough to cause any major complaints. If you're into intense, keep-you-up-at-night thrillers, then this one is definitely for you.
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Covering the Cover: I really love this cover; it was what first drew me in, since it looks creepy and fits so well with the title.
Characters: 2.5/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4 stars

1 comments:

Julia :) said...

Ohhh great review! I love that you wrote about what you liked and disliked. I LOVE books that can creep me out but I also can get turned off by a book if its characters aren't well developed. But I think I'll definitely be giving this a read. :)

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