Friday, October 26, 2012

Review: Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield

Hanging by a Thread 
by Sophie Littlefield
Published: September 11, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Available: Amazon

Summer is the best part of the year in Winston, California, and the Fourth of July is the highlight of the season. But the perfect town Clare remembers has changed, and everyone is praying that this summer will be different from the last two—that this year's Fourth of July festival won't see one of their own vanish without a trace, leaving no leads and no suspects. The media are in a frenzy predicting a third disappearance, but the town depends on tourist dollars, so the residents of Winston are trying desperately to pretend nothing's wrong.

And they're not the only ones hiding something.

Clare, a seamstress who redesigns vintage clothing, has been blessed—or perhaps cursed—with a gift: she can see people's pasts when she touches their clothes. When she stumbles across a denim jacket that once belonged to Amanda Stavros, last year's Fourth of July victim, Clare sees her perfect town begin to come apart at the seams.

In a town where appearance means everything, how deep beneath the surface will Clare dig to uncover a murderer?

Hanging by a Thread started off pretty good. Clare was an interesting character, with a mysterious family background, a love of fashion and the ability to read the past from fabric. That said, I quickly lost respect for her. She is judgement of her new friends lives, lies to her, says that she doesn't care who she has sex with the first time as long as it happens that summer, constantly thinks about how wonderful her friends were back at her old school but never calls them, and becomes angry with her mother for worrying about a killer being on the loose in their small community. Despite Clare's turn for the worse, I kept reading, because really she did at least seem like a believable character.

For me, the high points of the story were when Clare was having her visions. It's were pretty much the only action was and where it actually felt like there was a point to the story. I've read a few other reviews complaining about the over abundance of sewing and fashion talk, but it didn't really bother me. I felt like it was the best drawn part of Clare's character, and that it tied her ability to read fabric into her so deeply. That said, some of her 'creations' sounded like bejeweled messes.

By the end there were just too many loose threads. Littlefield brought up so many things, such as the old school friends and spent so much time detailing them, that I felt let down that they never went anywhere. At other times, she completely skipped over things and had Clare come up with these amazing insights that I just didn't see how she came to. This lead to an ending that I just didn't buy. I couldn't wrap my mind around why the characters would think they would get away with what they had done. (I really want to explain more here, but doing so would spoil the ending since it would reveal who wasn't the killer) Overall, it was an okay read, but I don't think I'd search out more from Littlefield.

1 comment:

  1. This one does sound really unique! I love the idea that she can see memories off of clothes!

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