Stitch by Samantha Durante
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I want to thank the author, Samantha Durante, for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. I also want to thank her for allowing me to participate in her blog tour for this book, it's truly an honor.
Blurb from Goodreads:
Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa's body screams at her to run... but yet she's powerless to move.
Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees - and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell - Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.
Because what Alessa hasn't figured out yet is that she's not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university's idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface...
The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results
I have to say that this book is NOTHING of what I expected it to be! To say that Samantha has created something totally new and interesting is not doing this book justice in the least. I don't normally read the blurb for a book that I am given to review, as I want to have more of a surprise and go in without any preconceived ideas. However, I did let myself peek at this one a bit and was excited to read a ghost story (as I haven't really read many of them in the YA genre). But, to my surprise, this ghost story turned out to be SO much more!
The first thing that drew me into this book was the cover. Wow, it's just totally amazing what the artist did with it. After having read the story, I can totally see how it relates to what the author is telling us. Before that, I was mostly just curious and loved the colors.
Then there is the main heroine. Alessa. Alessa is a college freshman struggling with the death of her parents. Struggling with making friends and becoming acclimated to her surroundings. She mostly keeps to herself, except for interactions she has with her friend Janie, who turns out to be so much more than you could possibly imagine. To top it all off, Alessa is seeing a ghost, and a handsome ghost at that. She struggles with finding out who he is and why he might be haunting her. She has and extreme pull to him, but she can't explain why. Well, I don't want to spoil why for you, but let's just say that he's not someone she doesn't know!
Then we get some of the story from Issac's POV (he is the ghost after all). He is struggling with seeing the apparition of a young woman he has never met. He wonders why she is appearing to him and what message she has for him that is so important. He also feels out of place in his world, which is 100 years before our modern day. He feels like he is meant for so much more, but cannot imagine why that would be since he spent his life growing up on his family's land.
There were a few things that bothered me about this book. First off the alternating POVs were not traditional at all. One chapter would be Issac, then the next three would be Alessa, then it would jump back to Issac. There was no consistency and this made for quite a choppy read. In addition, the flashbacks jumped around a lot and I often felt like I wasn't sure where I was in the story. And the characters just kept getting older and older in the book until they are finally into their twenties, and I was not sure how it even happened! It might behove the author to label the chapters with the characters name or perhaps even include a date. Another problem I had was not feeling a connection to any of the characters through most of the book. In the last quarter of the book, I was finally able to connect and understand the need for the characters to go where they were going, but before that I just felt like the book jumped around a lot. Another item that concerned me is a ton of description in the book. Now, I usually like description, as it puts me in the scene and makes me feel like I am right there with the character. However, I don't need to know every time the character slides her leg into a pair of pants, pops open a bottle to take a drink of water or eats an apple. It was too much and made me feel like the author was trying to stretch out the chapters. It got to be annoying after a while and made me feel like I wanted to skim the chapter rather than stick with it (tho in the end I did stick with it because I just can't bring myself to skim a book as I know I'll miss something important).
The twists and turns this book takes, from ghost story, to time travel to dystopian are something you would not otherwise see coming. It was a total surprise to me! I do have to say that it wasn't until about 1/2 way through the book that I was really interested in what I was seeing. Before that, it just feel like it was trolling along. However, I was happy that I stuck it out to see the outcome.
I am interested to see where the author takes the next book, as the characters are much older now and I am not sure it will still be considered YA, perhaps more NA. I can foresee this possibly being a problem as to how to classify this trilogy, unless the author chooses to jump back and give us more of a background that leads up to how the characters are placed in their predicament in the first place.
I again want to thank Samantha for providing me with a copy of her novel. 3 out of 5 stars from me.
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