Title: Hanging By A Thread
Author: Sophie Littlefield
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: Hardcover; 288
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Language
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy a paranormal read, and are looking for something a little different.
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Summer is the best part of the year in Winston, California, and the Fourth of July is the highlight of the season. But the perfect town Clare remembers has changed, and everyone is praying that this summer will be different from the last two—that this year's Fourth of July festival won't see one of their own vanish without a trace, leaving no leads and no suspects. The media are in a frenzy predicting a third disappearance, but the town depends on tourist dollars, so the residents of Winston are trying desperately to pretend nothing's wrong.
And they're not the only ones hiding something.
Clare, a seamstress who redesigns vintage clothing, has been blessed—or perhaps cursed—with a gift: she can see people's pasts when she touches their clothes. When she stumbles across a denim jacket that once belonged to Amanda Stavros, last year's Fourth of July victim, Clare sees her perfect town begin to come apart at the seams.
In a town where appearance means everything, how deep beneath the surface will Clare dig to uncover a murderer?
If nothing else, I have to say that Sophie Littlefield's Hanging By A Thread gets points for being unique. Never before have I read a book with a premise exactly like this. Sure it has a lot of similar plot devices to most other YA paranormal, but it manages to shine a little brighter than the others. If only this book had been executed a little bit better, I know it would have become one of my favorites.
Let's start with the good. The mystery surrounding Clare's story is extremely interesting. Two years running, a local has died in a mysterious way on the 4th of July. Clare takes it upon herself to figure out exactly why. Something calls her to figure it all out. Lucky for her, she happens to have the power to see the past while touching clothes. Pretty intriguing right? I thought so too.
My biggest problem, honestly, was Clare herself. At first I was enamored with her love for vintage clothing and re-purposing old into new. However the further the book moved on, the more frustrated I became with her character. For some reason Clare seems to be drawn to the bad boy, but she never really knows why. She has a fairly sour outlook on the world, which I guess makes sense because of how she uses her powers. In fact, most everyone has some type of problem in this book. These are not a very happy set of characters.
What made it the most difficult to get through this book though was how much Clare talks about fashion. I'm no fashionista, but I'm pretty sure a lot of that could have been left out and the book still would have been wonderful. I kept flipping between really enjoying this book, and wondering when it was going anywhere. The ending saved things considerably! But by then, I was already frustrated.
Being honest, Hanging By A Thread is by no means a badly written book. The concept is great, the writing is good, it's just that the execution didn't do it for me. If you are looking for a different type of paranormal, something that is unique, give this one a shot. It might be more your style than mine.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.