Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Hanging by a Thread (review)
Hanging by the Thread tried to have a somewhat unique concept. The main character Clare is sorta a physic detective. Only she doesn't get her visions of the future, she gets visions of the past...from vintage clothing. For me, this concept didn't work. There's a whole story about how it was passed down in her family because a dress-making ancestor was murdered. But to me, getting flashes when you touch someone's t-shirt but not when you touch the person, just seems odd.
Of course Clare likes to design repurposed fashion. There wouldn't be much of a plot if she wasn't into used clothing would there? Rather than being an oddball, like most people who make their own clothes in high school, she is embraced by the popular crowd as their personal seamstress. She goes to beach party, flirts with boys and adds losing her virginity to her summer to do list. Because Clare is such a fashion maven, the reader is treated to long unnecessary description of everything that everyone wears.
A lot of things about this novel didn't work. The main character falls in insta-love with another character after an angry encounter on the beach which led to a make-out sessions. This is the second time they've met, and he immediately starts confessing his personal life problems to Clare. The relationship lacked any real development. It went from "oh he's cute" to "oh we're kissing" to "oh let me tell you about my dead father" in literally two encounters.
The whole plot of this novel revolves around two murders on consecutive July 3rds. With the anniversary looming, the town is gossiping about the possibility of a serial killer and another murder. When a junk-sale jacket starts speaking to Clare, she feels like she's meant to solve the 2 year old crime.
Her way of solving it seems to be making out with a guy, talking to her best friend, driving up a fire service road with someone that she barely knows (real safe there!) and breaking into someone's house. For the record, I hate when people try to solve crimes on their own without a logical reason. It's stupid and dangerous! This book tried to explain it, using an awkwardly placed scene where a police officer made her pick up litter. Clearly they are incompetent! Or they just hate litter...
Some books are just shallow. The storyline, the relationships, the characters don't have the depth that a novel needs to be compelling. This is one of those stories.