Genre: Young-Adult, Contemporary
Hannah now attends a prestigious, strict school, as a last effort of her mother's to tame her. After a rebellious past and an event involving Hannah's best friend, Hannah can't look at herself in the mirror. When she does, her reflection doesn't match what she expects, and Hannah fears for her sanity. When objects become displaced, screens appear backward, and Hannah is accused of going places & doing things she has no recollection of, Hannah debates if she can even trust herself.
***Thank you to the author for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review***
Wowww! The blurb provided doesn't really allude to the extremities of what occurs and I was SO hooked. There are so many questions; What happened with Nikki? Is Nikki alive? Who is really to blame? Is Hannah seeing things? What is going on with her reflection? Who is moving her phone? The list goes on.
It's actually quite a difficult book to review without giving spoilers away as you need to nearly go into this book half blind.
Hannah: I think Hannah was a brilliant main character. We know she has had a rebellious past and is now paying the price under the strict rule of her mother. She has had to move away from her old life, her best friend, Nikki, and doesn't even get to keep photos of her life. She is now trying to keep her head down, get good grades and just stay out of trouble, but it's not good enough in her mother's eyes. As a teenager, she also has the ongoing drama of school life and friends and trying to fit in and be a part of things as much as her mother will allow. Her mother only approves of one friend solely because she believes she helps Hannah's grades and that's all that counts. As the story builds, you really feel for Hannah and her loss of control over her life as the unthinkable drama unfolds.
Story: This is such an original concept, brought to life so well. Slowly, Hannah is being accused of doing things she has no memory of; plagiarizing and sneaking out, getting her in further trouble, and we have no idea how it's all happening. Told from Hannah's POV, the reader is left with the same wonder and questions as Hannah, not knowing the importance of mirrors and the messages left. Added with the mystery of Hannah's past and it's quite a page turner! The pacing is executed brilliantly; there's enough ongoing drama to prevent any dragging, balanced perfectly with answers, so it's not just an ending filled with all the answers we had.
Characters: I really liked that there weren't too many characters in this. They all held purpose and had distinct personalities and reasoning, that made them so realistic. I think I would've liked a teeny bit more of an insight into the beginning of Hannah's relationship with Cole, but then again, Hannah also missed out on most of that too! Hannah's mother is just awful, with absolute no emotional bond with her daughter, but yet even with her there is character development and attempted justification.
I thought I had figured out what was happening as we got a little bit more revealed, however the "twist" near the ending really got me (a positive). When the why is revealed, it's a bit like a punch to the stomach (in a good way) and there lies a great underlying message about forgiveness. Everything is finished off expertly, and it feels like the whole story is justified with solid reasoning rather than just being an unexplained event.
This is an extremely original and captivating read with great twists. There is a thread of Fantasy genre intertwined with a solid, thought-provoking theme regarding growing up and forgiveness. A magical YA read. Tara St. Pierre has one of the best imaginations!