Saturday, June 2, 2012

Book Review: Doll House by Anya Allyn

I'm such a bad little blogger, posting a day late like this. Terribly sorry about that!

**EDIT** I have received confirmation from the author that the version I read is considerably shorter than the final book. She believes that it is either an earlier draft of the book or that something went wrong went converting it. That being said, obviously this review will only be so accurate. 150 pages is quite a few missing scenes and if it turns out it was a draft copy there could have been any number of edits between it and the final copy of the book. I apologize for all the confusion. Please take this review with a grain of salt as I can't be sure how big the difference is between the one I read and the one available for purchase. I may in the future read the correct version of the book and change the review accordingly, but unfortunately I simply do not have the time to do so at the moment.

Title: Doll House
Author: Anya Allyn
Pages: 217 (Although I've seen its listed as 372 everywhere I'm a little confused about that)
Publishing Date: May 2012
Reason for Reading: Received copy from author
Synopsis: For fifteen year old Cassie Claiborne, there's only one good thing about moving from steamy Miami to the wild inland forests of Australia--the even wilder Ethan McAllister. But Ethan already has a girlfriend--Aisha Damaj--the girl with a hundred different moods a minute.When Aisha goes missing on a hiking trip in the local mountains--presumed dead--the whole town points a finger at Ethan.
Cassie defends Ethan fiercely--and she's just about the only friend he has left. But is Cassie letting her feelings for Ethan cloud her judgment of him?
Or does something dark lurk out there in the forests? Aisha isn't the first girl to vanish there in recent years.
There's only one way to find out--go back to the forests.

Okay, so I'm not entirely sure if formatting was the reason why my version was so much shorter page wise or if my version was missing things that were put into the final version (I received a pre-release copy from the author).

This book definitely creeped me out. I always try to avoid anything that is going to scare me because I have a very overactive imagination so for me personal this probably wasn't my best decision, but if you like creepy books this is one to check out.

I personally thought this book dragged a bit. There are long conversations that don't seem to have any real purpose except to fill a few pages. Even once the creepy stuff finally started happening it felt like there was a lot of time with nothing of importance going on; the characters go through similar days over and over again and as a reader you just sit and watch waiting for something new to happen to move the plot forward again.

The characters were a bit ify for me as well. Although the book is written in first person point of view from Cassie's perspective, I feel like I never really got to know Cassie. She's always describing what is going on around her but we rarely get to hear what is going on in her head. It feels more like a book meant to be written in third person and all the "I"s are just added in. I also found it a bit hard to believe that a girl who moved to Australia from the US would be using British vernacular without a thought after only a few months.

All things aside, the story itself is an interesting one and definitely succeeds in creeping a reader out. I knew fairly early on that this was not going to be my next favorite book, but I still wanted to know how it all ended because the plot itself is rather unique - it does keep you guessing and I was determined to find out what was going on. I do feel like there were a few things that never really get explained, like why the doll house was created to begin with, but that will probably be explained in the next book.

Basically the story itself is an interesting read but the writing, to me, got in the way a bit. If you are a fan of creepy books, which I now remember I am not, then this is one to check out. For this book, I think it really all comes down to taste; I personally didn't love it, but quite a few other people have really enjoyed it.

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