Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror
Release Date: December 7th 2010
Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna’s tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas, in search of a new home.
But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she’s far from normal. And when a crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.
I bought this book a few years ago, but only managed to read the first few chapters before putting it to one side. It then got swallowed up by the rest of my ever-growing TBR pile, and I just didn’t pick it up again. But whilst recently reorganising my bookshelf, I came across it and decided to give it another try. Unfortunately, I remembered why I put it down in the first place.
Reeves has a captivating writing style, and the story was quite unique to other YA novels I’ve read. It certainly had interesting elements, and it focused heavily on the mental health issues of the protagonist, Hanna, which I enjoyed getting to read about. But it was the characters that didn’t work for me. I couldn’t connect with Hanna, and I found myself not really caring if things worked out for her. I lacked sympathy towards her and when I’m reading a story, I want to be rooting for the protagonist.
The romance in the story also didn’t cut it for me. Her relationship with Wyatt felt a little flat, and I just couldn’t feel the connection between them. Wyatt seemed to be an interesting character one minute, and then dull the next. Throughout the book, I wasn’t as drawn into their relationship, or Wyatt, as I wanted to be.
I also found myself getting rather confused with the plot at times, and it was difficult to keep up with. Chaotic is one word to describe it. I kept getting distracted from the story because I just couldn’t follow it. It’s a style that I’m sure many other readers will love, because there’s plenty of twists to keep you guessing. There is a great deal of descriptive violence and gore present in this book, so I suppose it also ticks a few horror elements, which I found interesting, but perhaps it was a little too odd for me.
It’s disappointing that this book didn’t agree with me. I felt like I wanted to enjoy it, but couldn’t bring myself to. Maybe it still wasn’t the right time for me to read it. There are a few books that I’ve read and disliked, but then came back to years later and actually enjoyed. So maybe I’ll come back to this in the future and see if I appreciate it more, but right now it’s not for me.