Friday, February 22, 2013

Brad About Books: Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne

Published: February 2, 2012
Publisher: GP Putnam BYR (Penguin)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 309 pages

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 hate to say it, but I was disappointed with Harbinger. Difficult and a bit confusing, I felt that there were too many plot points jumbled up and trying to soar, but they just didn't work for me.

The thing that I had the most problems with about Harbinger was simply that this book had too many elements of YA trying to mix together. Dystopian, mystery, a little bit paranormal romance, it felt forced and too messy. I couldn't keep track for the majority of the book of what the plot line actually was. I think that if only there had been one genre-element instead of a mixed group, this novel would have definitely appealed more to me.

But I did enjoy our main character, Faye. She seemed funny and quick-witted, and overall, I found her to be my favorite part of the book. I always looked forward to seeing what she was going to be getting herself into and what the author would do to her character. Harbinger had a really, really unique synopsis from the jacket and book trailer. But unfortunately, it just wasn't for my taste.

But another quality of Harbinger I enjoyed was Holbrook Academy, minus all of the jumbled up genres floating around it in. Just the Academy itself spooked me -- it seemed super eerie and creepy, and if the novel had revolved more around the scariness of Holbrook Academy, I think the novel could have been a lot better.

Overall, Harbinger disappointed me, but since it has lots of genres I would classify in it, I can see how it will appeal to YA lovers. 

M Y   R A T I N G

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