Published by Orchard Books
Published on August 7th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Ghosts, Paranormal, Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult
Source: Net Galley, Review Copy
A haunting mystery, romance in the vein of The Lovely Bones by New York Times bestselling author.
"The yard of this house is a graveyard of moments and everything left behind is a clue. And I am here to dig."
There's a ghost haunting 208 Water Street. She doesn't know who she was, or why she's still here. She does know that she is drawn to Maggie, the new girl in town, and her friends - beautiful, carefree Pauline and Liam, the boy who loves her.
But the ghost isn't all that's lurking in Gill Creek... Someone is killing young girls all across the county. Can the ghost keep these three friends safe? Or does she have another purpose?
The Moment Collector aka The Vanishing Season was supposed to haunt my dreams. It is, after all, marketed as a ghost story. The book was actually narrated by the loneliest ghost I’ve ever read about. I was only spooked one time, and it was during the very first time that I realized that the ghost is narrating the story.
I’m part of this house, and the residents can hear me in their sleep. I rattle the dishes and creak along the floors in the dark. I turn the lights on downstairs, though they’re sure they turned them off when they went to bed. I watch a leg crash through the ceiling into the darkness and I reach out to touch it. But I have no hands, no arms, nothing I can see. I wonder if I ever did.
This book was very well-written. I started to admire Jodi Lynn Anderson’s writing ever since I’ve read Tiger Lily, so when I saw this book up on NetGalley, I requested for it. Her writing felt like swimming in the consciousness of the ghost while she tells us the story of the friendship between three people : Maggie, Pauline, and Liam. Her prose is incredible, and even though this book didn’t wow me, I was left with a good feeling inside after I finished the book.
This is definitely not a ghost story. When Maggie’s family was plucked from Chicago to live in the house that they’ve inherited at Door County, Wisconsin, she thought that the house was basically derelict, and that her mother have a mission cut out for her. She misses her old life, and her best friend, Jacie, but she quickly became friends with her neighbor, Pauline. Maggie is mature for her age, she always thought about what’s best for her and her family. She knows that they didn’t have any money, so she knows not to burden her parents with her whims and wants. She was the kind of person who has yet to experience love. But there wasn’t really anything compelling about her, and yet her character is very important. She made things move along in the story.
Pauline, Maggie found, is beautiful and child-like, and she is also wealthy. She mostly lives in the present, she is carefree, and her dreams changes weekly. She’s beautiful, but is unaware of it. She says and does things that unintentionally hurt. And what I love about Pauline is the fact that she’s not the pretty girl that you get to hate.
Then there’s Liam, Pauline’s childhood friend. Liam, who is desperately in love with Pauline since they were little. And the Liam that both girls loved. Yes, there is a love triangle in this book, but it’s not the one that you will hate. I found him quite complicated, but he was presented as a simple gentleman. There is a part of the book that would make you want to slap him, but on the other hand, I completely understood why it had to happen.
The mystery that surrounded the book did feel a little bit like The Lovely Bones. Teen girls started disappearing from Door County when winter came, and the people were given a curfew as a security measure. Besides that fact, nothing really happens at Gill Creek. That was all the mystery that you can get. It almost felt like a backdrop of a coming-of-age story. It even felt like that particular element in the story could have been dropped, and the story will still go on. Pauline, Maggie, and Liam still continued with their usual activities, like canoeing, eating s’mores, and building saunas in the woods. Maggie still kept doing her every day runs. Pauline still walks with her dog, Abe. And Liam still does the household chores. What confused me the most was the fact that there were murders happening, clearly it’s a serial killer, but it doesn’t seem to affect the trio. Maggie believed that it couldn’t happen to her. And I worried for both girls because it felt like something really bad was going to happen.
And I think something is coming for one of these girls, or both. I think I’m here to save them.
And the ending, was such a sad one. I didn’t expect it, but as it slowly sank in, I felt like I’ve always known, I just didn’t consider it.
We were promised a ghost story, a mystery even. But I felt like the mystery was unresolved, and the story didn’t haunt me at all. The plot was aimless, really. But you will surely love the well-developed characters. You will love the delicateness of how Anderson told the story in a poignant way. I’ve never lived in a place where there are cold winters, but this book did make me feel so cold and chilled to the bone with the vividness of the atmosphere from the beautiful writing. I felt the isolation of the county, and the bite of icy coldness.
For those who are in love with beautiful writing and tragic endings, read this book. Even though it was slow, it was definitely beautiful. Yes, I’ve used beautiful a lot, because JLA’s writing is just that – beautiful.
Love can’t be taken back once it’s given.
Thank you Hachette Children’s Books (Books With Bite UK) for the digital galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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