Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Don't Breathe a Word

Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon
ISBN: 0061689378
EPub Edition ISBN: 9780062079459
File Size: 651 KB; 464 pages
Kindle - ASIN: B004JN1D4G

On a soft summer night in Vermont, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother, Sam, about a door that led to a magical place where she would meet the King of the Fairies and become his queen.
Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in love with Sam, a practical, sensible man who doesn't fear the dark and doesn't have bad dreams—who, in fact, helps Phoebe ignore her own. But suddenly the couple is faced with a series of eerie, unexplained occurrences that challenge Sam's hardheaded, realistic view of the world. As they question their reality, a terrible promise Sam made years ago is revealed—a promise that could destroy them all.

My Thoughts:
Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon is a creepy-good mystery/psychological thriller about a girl who disappears - and fairies. Fifteen years ago 12 year old Lisa disappeared in Harmony, Vermont, after she went into the woods to meet Teilo, the King of the Fairies. At the time of the disappearance, 20 year old Phoebe went to see the town and ended up staying. Fifteen years later Phoebe is in a relationship with a younger man, Sam, who just happens to be the brother of the missing Lisa. 
All the local kids believed fairies took Lisa into their secret world, but Sam thinks she was abducted by some pervert hiding in the woods. When Phoebe receives a phone call that leads them to the mysterious Book of Fairies that was supposedly given to Lisa by the fairies, Sam and Phoebe must follow clues that could reveal what really happened to Lisa.
The chapters in the book alternate between the present day story and fifteen years ago when Lisa disappeared. The chapters are told in third person from the point of one character, so we are only following what that character knows.  As we learn about what happened fifteen years ago, we are also following current events that require more investigation.  Their search and the story about what actually happened fifteen years ago is muddle by complicate family situations.
Don't Breathe a Word  features a fast-paced plot that was not overly complicated by unnecessary information. Things aren't necessarily as they seem and the plot takes some interesting twists. Writing the chapters from the third person really works here. We don't know everything every character knows and are left to try and decipher who is hiding something and what the real truth is. Additionally, there are reasons to doubt everything and everyone to some degree. You really don't know if there were fairies or not until the very end. The ending was very good.
Very highly recommended
This is my first book review from a Kindle book. I'll have more thoughts on using the Kindle in the future.

If you are holding this book in your hands, you are one of the chosen. You must understand that with this privilege comes great responsibility. The knowledge contained in these pages will change your life forever. But you must be very wary of who you share this knowledge with. The fate of our race depends on it. opening
The TV flickers and glows with the dull blue fire of the evening news. There’s a story on about the girl who’s disappeared in Harmony. Three nights ago, she went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. She said there was a door in those woods, somewhere in the ruins of an old town long abandoned. She’d told her little brother she’d met the King of the Fairies and he was going to take her home to be his queen.  

The newscaster says all that remains of the village in the woods is chimneys and cellar holes. Some lilac bushes and apple trees in old dooryards. The little settlement was called Reliance, of all things, and was never shown on any maps. It disappeared without explanation. Perhaps everyone died off in the flu of 1918. Or maybe, went local legend, the fifty-odd residents were spirited away. The newscaster gets a little gleam in his eye here because everyone loves a good ghost story, don’t they?
“Some of the townspeople I talked to claim to have heard strange noises coming from the woods over the years—a ghostly moaning, crying. Some even say if you pass by on the right night of the year, you’ll hear the devil whisper your name. Others report seeing a green mist that sometimes takes the shape of a person.”  pg. 3
But what she is afraid. Because when she was a little girl, she saw the trapdoor under her bed that only appeared in the darkest hours of the night. Heard the scrabbling, the squeaking of hinges as it was opened. And she saw what came out. And she knows (doesn’t she?) that sometimes he’s there still, not just under the bed but in the shadows at the bus stop, lurking with the alley cats behind the Dumpster at her apartment building. He’s everywhere and nowhere. A blur caught out of the corner of her eye. A mocking smile she tells herself she’s imagined. pg 5
“People see what they want to see,” Sammy had told her earlier, when she was trying to convince Evie and him that the lights in the cellar hole had been fairies.
Maybe Sammy was right – maybe Lisa thought it was fairies because that’s just what she wanted it to be, what she’d been waiting her whole life for.
But what if it worked the other way around?
What if things happened to you – special, magic things – because you’d been preparing for them? What if by believing, you opened a door? pg. 49

No comments: