Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publisher: Orchard Books, August 7th, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
Format: Paperback, 256 pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
'The yard of this house is a graveyard of moments and everything left behind is a clue. And I am here to dig.' There's a ghost haunting 208 Water Street. She doesn't know who she was, or why she's still here. She does know that she is drawn to Maggie, the new girl in town, and her friends - beautiful, carefree Pauline and Liam, the boy who loves her. But the ghost isn't all that's lurking in Gill Creek... Someone is killing young girls all across the county. Can the ghost keep these three friends safe? Or does she have another purpose?
SPOILER ALERT: They're all covered - just highlight the text if you want to read them.
This book was just… eurgh, BE-AU-TI-FUL. I would leave the review here, and be done with it, but I feel like this book deserves more – and I doubt one sentence count’s as a review, more of an opinion really. Firstly, I think this book requires a certain type of person to like it, to love it. Point blank, nothing much actually happens in the book, there's no fast-paced plot, and any drama included is used for other means rather than to keep the reader on the edge of their seat - but I think that’s something that just really made it quite an endearing read to me. Usually this type of read bores me to no end, but the writing was so amazing that it didn't even bother me.
There were a few things that did irritate me though...
Initially, I think people could find this pointless, or find a lot of elements that were unneeded – but I personally think every page, every moment, built up to this book that I won’t forget in a hurry. Needless to say my favorite bits of the book were the italicized sections from the point of view of Maggie as a ghost, they really intrigued me and at the end of the book it all came together, I just… it was a heart-stopping moment. I think that sums up this book nicely, heart-stoppingly beautiful.
And I think the reason this book is so impacting is that it’s more about the message it carries than a girl having experiences and then dying. The message, I think, is this; your life can simply cease, any time, any day – think about those moments, big and small, spilling orange juice down your favorite top, they make up who you are, and they’re all that’s left when you die. Forgetting those just makes you float, remembering changes everything.
Earlier I did mention that there were a few things that irritated me;
- The person going round taking and killing girls, that was a loose end, you never find out what their purpose was, or why they was doing it, we don't even get a scene where the narrator interacts with the mystery killer - I just didn't see why that couldn't be tied up some way. Leaving it the way it is feels very cut-off, and backs up the 'unneeded elements' theme.
- The romance, and feeling shiz - just what? Like. Ugh. The entire time I was like 'what are you doing you stupid girl - and you, how the hell can you say you love her then go off with the best friend' - I knew the so called 'relationship' would be a disaster waiting to happen. Not for me.
- The blurb is pretty (kinda) misleading; if you were looking for a murder mystery then this ain't the book. I don't actually know why this irritated me so much, but it was as if the jacket and the story were two completely different things.
But apart from that, I need to stress that this novel is one that really explores characters, emotions, and relationships. Anderson also gives us a harsh spoonful of reality with the ending, and in all honesty I was expecting it, I was expecting Maggie's death, that she was the ghost. What I didn't expect was how Anderson still made it as touching as she did.
I'm definitely sure that this review doesn't convey how beautiful the book is, or how much inner conflict I had with rating this. In the end I decided to give it four out of five, simply because I couldn't give it a three.
4/5 Bookish Birds
*Thank-you to Hachette Children’s Books for sending me an Uncorrected Proof Copy of The Moment Collector by Jodi Lynn Anderson – this in no way affected my review.*