Sunday, March 3, 2013

ARC REVIEW: The Twisted Window by Lois Duncan

Title/Series: The Twisted Window
Author: Lois Duncan
Publisher: Open Road Publishing
Published August 28th 2012 (first published 1987)
Format: eBook | 184 pages
Genre: YA, Suspense, Mystery
Source: NetGalley

★★★✩ (3.5/5) Stars!

**An old format of how I used to do my reviews. I just don't have the energy to update it to my current style**

Summary (from B&N):

The new guy at Tracy’s school is handsome, intense, and desperately needs her help—but there’s something about him that isn’t quite right

High school junior Tracy Lloyd is unsure about the new guy in school. Brad Johnson is attractive, smart, and polite, but Tracy can’t help but feel he watches her too closely. Then one day Brad confides in Tracy a horrible secret: His little sister Mindy has been kidnapped by his stepfather, and he needs Tracy’s help to get her back. But even as Tracy commits to a plan to help her vulnerable new friend, details emerge that suggest nothing is what it seems. The Twisted Window is a zigzagging thriller that keeps readers guessing up until the final page.  This e-book features an illustrated biography of Lois Duncan including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.

My Review:

Plot (3/5):

When I first read the summary, as I was browsing NetGalley, it seemed pretty interesting. I mean obviously right? I did request it. And it wasn't horrible. I made it through and it kept my attention enough. But it wasn't exactly great either. I think the idea behind the story was pretty good, it just could have been executed much better. It wasn't until after I had finished and was pulling stuff up to get ready to post this review, did I see on Goodreads that this was originally published back in explains a lot.

Characters (2/5):

Though there were some likable aspects to them, in a lot of ways these characters were so unrealistic. Even if we consider them from a point of it being 15 years ago.
First of all Brad is just a nut job. I won't get into it because you really can't without revealing plot twists and such. Just trust me...the boy needs an extended vacation in a room with padded walls. I mean, yeah, he's got things that have happened in his life to lead him to the point of coo-coo, but seriously someone should have intervened a while ago. And Tracy? She's not exactly a golden girl either. The whole "then one day" that Brad confides in Tracy is like hardly 24 hours after semi-stalking her. And the girl just agrees to go along with helping him?? Really??? But that's not the worst thing. She runs off with him, knowing he has a gun and only knowing him for like a week tops and even then they'd talked 3 times during that period. I swear I felt like I was reading a manual on how to get yourself chopped up into a million pieces instead of a YA suspense novel. Sheesh!

Originality (5/5):

I will give it respect for being original. Like I said the idea is good, just poorly executed.
Ending (4/5):

There's a pretty good twisting "whoa, no way!" type of moment at the end so I can't get into much detail. It did end, somewhat, leaving things a bit unanswered. It could have gone on at least one more chapter maybe to let you know what happened to everyone. Or even an epilogue maybe. But in the grand scheme of things it wasn't really that vital to the book I suppose. It's just one of those "it would've been nice" things.

Overall Satisfaction (3/5):

There was a lot of awkward dialogue and at times it was really stiff and formal. Teenagers, at least American teenagers don't normally go around saying "mustn't" and it was used at one point. Along with the fact that these days contractions are used a lot more often; won't, didn't, can't etc. Knowing now though that this book is really 15 years old, I guess maybe that could explain a some of the stiffness and formality. Maybe, maybe not. But that wasn't the only thing that lessened my enjoyment, I just really had a hard time believing things would have happened the way they did. Am I sorry I read it? No, not really. It had its moments and it was an okay read. However it didn't wow me by far and I wouldn't sit through it again. I guess I'll leave you with take your chances.

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