Publication date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (thank you!)
Purchase: The Book Depository • Amazon
Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.
As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not….
With a creepy cover and promising synopsis, Carly Anne West's debut is one book psychological thriller fans will keep an eye out for. Though The Murmurings didn't live up to the expectations it set for itself, it was undoubtedly an entertaining read.
Sophie's sister, Nell, was popular, smart, and had everything a girl could ever want, so Sophie can't understand what would drive Nell to commit suicide. Sophie tries to figure out what happened to Nell by visiting her sister's doctor, who's more sinister and crazy than she could ever imagine, and as she discovers more, she can't possibly realize the amount of danger she's just put herself in. Not just one person is after her this time, but two.
Possibly the greatest strength of The Murmurings was its concept. I haven't read many psychological thrillers that really 'thrilled' me, and I'm sad to say that The Murmurings wasn't one of those books as well. However, I loved this book's concept and what Carly Anne West did with it. I can't tell you much in this review for fear of spoiling the story, but rest assured that if you came expecting some supernatural element, you won't be disappointed!
Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the characters. None of them, not even Sophie herself, are particularly memorable. She wasn't easy to connect to, and the romance she had with Evan was sudden and dull - I could not sense the chemistry between them, nor did Evan feel like a real person at all. I felt that the characters in this book lacked depth most of all, and had no unique or special personalities - which led me to like Dr. Keller, one of the antagonists, best of all. He's broken, sick, and longing for something he can't have - but those traits gave him color, and separated him from the rest of the mundane characters.
The Murmurings started off well enough, but got sidetracked in the middle, when the story was focused more on the romance instead of the conflict. It redeemed itself a little toward the end, though, which was where the creep-fest truly started. I enjoyed the twists West added into the book, and the fear she managed to stir within me. Honestly, I'd tell you to read this book just for the ending itself!
PROS: Nice concept; great villain; creepy ending; hooking
CONS: Undeveloped characters; insta-love; unrelatable protagonist; none-too-consistent storyline
OVERALL: While certainly not perfect, The Murmurings is nothing short of intriguing. Carly A. West explores concepts not widely known in YA fiction, and I would recommend the book just for its ending alone! I had a little bit of mixed feelings about this one.