Saturday, January 19, 2013

Review: Hide and Seek by Sara Shepard

My friends and I used to play lying games.

Now my twin sister is living one.

When I was alive, my family seemed picture-perfect. My adoptive parents adored me, and my little sister, Laurel, copied my every move. But now that my long-lost twin, Emma, has taken my place to solve my murder, we're both learning just how flawed my family really is.

Laurel is shooting Emma nasty looks and sneaking around with my ex-boyfriend. And it turns out my parents are keeping a huge secret--could it be the reason I'm dead?

How far would they go to keep the truth buried? No one can harm me now, but Emma is still fair game. And if she's not careful, she'll end up buried, too. . . .

Language: Moderate
Violence: Moderate
Sexual: Mild

When I first began this series, I was really enjoying discovering the secrets and killer lies this story brought force, bringing out my inner sleuth along with it. I thought the plot was fairly unique and the writing style smoothly played along the continuous flipping of pages. But I found that as the story continues, it lacked the depth and mysterious thrills that tagged nearby.

I never particularly liked the games Sutton and her friends played on people, that they called “pranks.” What they would consider hilarious jokes, I would consider premature homicidal activities that needed to be watched closely by a therapist or psychiatrist, at best. Nobody seemed to enjoy Sutton’s company after pulling these pranks on her friends, which I don’t understand because, even though hers might have brought out her mental instability I imagine she must’ve had by then, her friends went along with it and pulled out some foolery of their own. But did anyone despise them? Yes, but not like they did Sutton.

There was something that began to get on my last nerve about these books. Through the second book, it felt like nothing was really happening. It was as though nothing had happened from the first book. These novels always leave with a cliffhanger, leaving open your thoughts for the killer, but it never ends with any closure, nor does it pursue our ambitions. The cliffhangers were seemingly for nothing at all, really.

I am not sure if I have such feelings about this series because I watch the TV series before reading the story itself (but I don’t think this is the case, considering the show is completely different than the novels), but I have doubts whether or not to continue reading the last two books. Apparently I am not the only one with feelings about these books, and about the Pretty Little Liars series, that of which I have not previously read but have the same dragging storyline. It makes me feel as though I wasted my money on the books that don’t even continue the story, and I don’t like that about Sara’s writing style.

Cover: Honestly, I like the designs for these covers. Or maybe it’s just the fashionista in me that enjoys the interesting styles the twins have.

Setting: A small town with big fashion, catty teenagers, and deceiving secrets.

Characters: Spiteful and selfish characters were what apparently made up this entire series. Hardly any of them had any good aspects in them, and most were rude and incompetent, even the parents and sister who I had some hope for in the beginning. Despite the fact that Sutton remembers nothing, she is still able to be just as much of a twit as she used to be. Emma is growing into the similar character her twin sister unfortunately was.

Storyline: The search to find Sutton’s murderer continues.

Writing: It had an easy and swift flow to it, but it lacks depth and builds up nothing at all.

Surprises: There were no surprises that made me gasp, but that was probably because I watched the television series beforehand.

Overall: 3.5 stars, because it did not fulfill my ambitions for the series, unfortunately. Although it is a thrilling read, there are just too many things I didn’t care for.

Recommended: If you enjoyed the PLL series, also by Sara Shepard, and you don’t mind basically reading the same story with each sequel to it, then I would recommend this to you.

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