Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Published in 2010
By Jessica Verday
" My body struggled to fight for each breath, dragging in one short painful gasp of air after the other. I put an arm above my head, and poured the rest of the perfume into the dancing current, moving closer until I was right along the water's edge. Closing my eyes, I rested my head on the swirl of water beneath me. It whispered seductively, inviting me to lose my pain and sorrow, my rage and my fear, to feel still and calm." (p.184)
Abbey is struggling to find the will to live after the loss of her best friend, Kristen. It doesn't help that her parents don't seem to understand, and that she is ridiculed and bullied by her high school classmates.
Things begin to look up when she meets a strikingly green eyed boy named Caspian. With her newfound love, Abbey feels she can once again learn to laugh and enjoy life. She even befriends an old couple that act as caretakers for her favorite place, the Sleepy Hollow cemetery.
However, Caspian is not all what he seems. She has no way of contacting him and he keeps on sending out mixed signals regarding his feelings for her.
What's worse is that Abbey discovers that Kristen had been hiding a dangerous secret from her for a long time before her death.
Who can Abbey trust? And was her best friend truly a friend?
So I had mixed feelings about this book.
Let's start with the bad for a change. For one, isn't it a bit redundant to have the heroine meet a strange boy in the cemetery? I'm pretty positive that I'm not giving anything away when I ask - what does the mysterious cemetery boy usually turn out to be? Hmm....to top it off, the author gave him the name Caspian, which made me able to only envision Casper, the friendly ghost, with blonde hair with a black streak.
Second, what exactly does the legend of Sleepy Hollow have to do with all of this? There is a revelation that connects the legend to the story, but it is so insignificant that I really don't understand the need for the author to have the story take place in Sleepy Hollow, or have a quote from the story at the beginning of each chapter.
Lastly, what is up with heroines being obsessed with cemeteries? Thankfully, Abbey also has another hobby, but c'mon, how many girls do you know actually hang out in their town cemetery (without alcohol involved)? I mean not too far from Sleepy Hollow are some of the best malls....and that's a fact.
Apart from that, I thought Abbey's hobby of making perfume was new and interesting. Also I thought it realistic that it was a difficult process for her to overcome the death of her friend. Most of all, I did think it was a nice change to read with a new backstory (that of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow) rather than the usual vampire/fairy/werewolf, etc.
Sadly, the good ends there. One other thing I found very upsetting is the fact that when Abbey discovers her friend's secret- she does not tell her parents or the girl's! I mean does anyone watch the news or what? Small town or not, this secret should have definitely been shared with the parents or some authorities in light of her friend's disappearance. Very irresponsible of the author via Abbey to have not done that!
On a minor note, I found the other characters to be very superficial. The bullies at school had very cardboard like conversations...does anyone really talk like that? Her parents seemed pretty oblivious to the happenings in her life (which is unimaginable since I'm pretty sure any parents would monitor their child more closely if there had just been a missing girl in their neighborhood!) and we also never really get a decription of what Abbey, Kristen, or Caspian look like.
::Sigh:: I think I could go on further, but I'll stop myself. I doubt I'll read the second or the third book, and it would be nice if someone just emailed me the spoiler :)