by Stephanie Kuehn
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
From the Morris-Award winning author of Charm & Strange, comes a twisted and haunting tale about three teens uncovering dark secrets and even darker truths about themselves.
When nearly killing a classmate gets seventeen-year-old Sadie Su kicked out of her third boarding school in four years, she returns to her family’s California vineyard estate. Here, she’s meant to stay out of trouble. Here, she’s meant to do a lot of things. But it’s hard. She’s bored. And when Sadie’s bored, the only thing she likes is trouble.
Emerson Tate’s a poor boy living in a rich town, with his widowed mother and strange, haunted little brother. All he wants his senior year is to play basketball and make something happen with the girl of his dreams. That’s why Emerson’s not happy Sadie’s back. An old childhood friend, she knows his worst secrets. The things he longs to forget. The things she won’t ever let him.
Haunted is a good word for fifteen-year-old Miles Tate. Miles can see the future, after all. And he knows his vision of tragic violence at his school will come true, because his visions always do. That’s what he tells the new girl in town. The one who listens to him. The one who recognizes the darkness in his past.
But can Miles stop the violence? Or has the future already been written? Maybe tragedy is his destiny. Maybe it’s all of theirs.
This book was weird as hell, man. It wasn't bad, per say, but it wasn't that good either. I don't know. It was just a very unique book.
It centers around 3 characters that range from creepy to bomb as hell. I didn't at all identify with any of the characters because that was not a thing I was supposed to do since they were all crazy as heck. I did really enjoy the Sadie chapters more than either of the other two perspectives. I felt that the book was more about her than Emerson or Miles, and she was just so much more interesting.
Miles was not necessarily a bad character, but he just wasn't very interesting to read about. Nothing that great happened to him. He was just kind of there. Don't even get me started on Emerson. He is such a sick fuck, but not even that intriguing of a sick fuck. I really wish we could have delved into the mind of Emerson Tate a lot more than we actually did. He was just so twisted and it would have been very cool to be able to see how he thinks, but instead we got very surface level things about him along with a few snippets from his past, and thats it. I honestly would have enjoyed this book much more if we could have seen into the minds of the three main characters a little bit more.
There was one thing that happened a lot throughout this book that made absolutely no sense to me. It was not a plot device, just a recurring detail: driving under the influence. Many characters, both major and minor, would take a few drinks before driving, and no one would freak out, and their driving skills would not be impaired. That is completely unrealistic. Unless you're some heavyweight master, and alcohol has no effect on you until you're three kegs in, you will not be able to drive after drinking. I don't know why this bugged be so much, but it really really irritated me whenever someone would drink and drive.
The overall plot of this book was very choppy. A lot of stuff would go down in a few pages then it would mellow out for thirty pages. Then stuff would happen, then it would mellow out. I'm pretty sure that it was just the fact that I was expecting some big reveal whenever the plot would get good, and it just didn't really happen until the very end of the novel.
I did, however, really like the use of flashbacks. They were very well woven into the story, and it really helped me get a good perspective on what went on in each character's life to get them to the point they were at.
Overall, this was an okay read. I think I would have enjoyed it a bit more if there was more emphasis on the thriller than the psychological.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and honestly it would be more difficult to make a dishonest review than a truthful one.