Monday, October 8, 2012

Spooked by Tracy Sharp

Reviewed by Tempest.

Blurb:

Sixteen year old Lorelei has a special talent. She can steal your deepest, darkest secrets. However, using her power leaves her open to some very nasty creatures from the underworld.

But then a girl from her school disappears. Then another. And another. Lorelei might be able to discover who is abducting the girls from her town if she uses her gift . . .

Can Lorelei stop more girls from being taken? Or will using her gift attract the hell-things that are after her?

* * *

Let me just start by saying that I would actually rate the first and second half of this book differently. For the first half, I would give it four, but for the second half...more like a 2.5. I'm going to go with a 3.5 total. Spooked started out really good. I was interested in finding out more about Lore's abilities, as well as her new friends, Kerry and Mick. All three of them seemed to have really distinct personalities, which is in my mind really important. The scene with "Irene" was funny and a little spooky, in the sense that I kept wondering if the cops were going to show as well. I liked the way that they all interacted with one another during that time. But then things started to go downhill. For one, Lore likes to make a loooot of assumptions that she then convinces herself are cold hard facts. She thinks maybe by putting up Irene she's started something bad, and then the second she finds out a girl has gone missing she's like, "Yup, I shouldn't have tried to pull that prank. That's what did it," when in all actual reality, no it's not. This happens again later when she's joined the search party. What starts out as a thought that maybe the kidnapper is actually walking among them pretending to search suddenly turns into something she "knows" to be true without any evidence to back it up. Is it a good theory? Yes, of course it is. But so is the theory that because it's been raining the past hour nonstop it'll still be doing so in another hour. Doesn't mean it's going to be true. There's know way of her knowing things for sure, but she likes to just jump to those conclusions and stick with them. This basically means she never really has to figure anything out because she just goes off of her assumptions, with the reader trailing along asking how the heck she's so sure of something? It's kind of like the writer just fed Lore the info. Not very exciting. Another thing, the idea that she can steal secrets from people is awesome. It's clever and different and I loved it. I still love the ability and what she can do with it (because of that I definitely want to know what happens next) however I'm also really disappointed in how useless it was in the story. Lore uses it and puts herself and her aunt at risk, but she never actually gets anything out of it. Heck, her "cousin" gets more info just by standing in front of photos of the missing. Every time she used her ability, she gets worthless stuff in return. In the end I don't really think getting her aunt killed (because let's face it, inadvertently that was her fault) was worth it. Everything she found out she could have done so without using her gift. And I was confused about that process. At first I thought that when she stole secrets she took all of a persons secrets, because that's what was implied. But then she doesn't end up taking the secret of the cabin from Mr. Turner. Huh? And those scenes where she jumps into people's heads and we see the secrets playing out where too much. Most of the time they weren't needed, and they just jarred me from the story. I wanted to focus on what was happening in her town, not on some random guy she was forced to read from. That part of the book, where all of a sudden the story does a complete 180 and she's been kidnapped by Lucian and is now in a house of special people was kind of just thrown in there. It didn't feel as bad as it probably was meant, it really wasn't hard at all for her to escape, and altogether I felt it was slightly pointless for me to be there watching it. That would have made a great second book, but as for being a part of the first... it felt like we were already dealing with one crisis, trying to figure out what was going on with the girls, then here's another we have to wrap our heads around. And if that's all that happens, you get kidnapped and sent to a home where escape is totally possible, then that's really not such a big thing. Bad things happened because of people there, sure, but she basically just forgives them anyway. Would I read the next one, if there is a next one? Sure. Why? Because I still do really like the idea behind it, but I probably won't be delving right in like I attempted with this one. The ending just wasn't great in my personal opinion, and Lore's personality kept flip-flopping. Why leave Mick? And why be so ok doing it? I do love Mick's character, though. I think Sharp did a great job with developing him, and even Kerry. That's why the first half was so good; I could really see these people in my mind. Then the second half a new person is being thrown my way every two seconds and I just couldn't get good enough images to hold on to who they were. I do recommend giving this book a try, if solely for the fact the first half of the book is really good. There's this one scene with her aunt in it that totally creeped me out. Very well written. I guess I just would have liked more of that, and less of the mysterious magic eight ball that somehow was her mind.


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