04 October 2011

Review: White Crow

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Some secrets are better left buried; some secrets are so frightening they might make angels weep and the devil crow. Thought provoking as well as intensely scary, White Crow unfolds in three voices. There's Rebecca, who has come to a small, seaside village to spend the summer, and there's Ferelith, who offers to show Rebecca the secrets of the town...but at a price. Finally, there's a priest whose descent into darkness illuminates the girls' frightening story. White Crow is as beautifully written as it is horrifically gripping. A modern gothic thriller about what awaits us after death - angels or the devil.

Hey! Hey, guys! Remember in my last review when I said I was going to find a happy book to read? Well I guess I immediately forgot and said "ooh!" when my eyes fell on White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick. Dang you White Crow and your awesome cover.

First warning, do not start this book if you do not have the time to finish it in one sitting. I have been severely punished for doing this. All day. I began White Crow last night and got about half way through before I had found a place where I could safely stop. That spot I found seemed to be the only place to stop. Unbeknownst, I went to work and began to read it on my lunch break and the book got INTENSE. I don't think I've ever had this much anxiety over a novel before. I feel really bad for the first customer I had to help after lunch...

Second warning, the book has a very slow suspenseful build-up, which I didn't mind. I liked it, actually, because it made the action towards the end that much more exciting. I also really enjoyed how Sedgwick chooses to show and not tell. We don't get Rebecca's full back story at the very beginning and we don't get Ferelith's either. Their individual histories are revealed piece by piece until you have it all at the finish.

Third warning, the book is quite graphic in its gore. It's not a gory book, per se, but there are two scenes that I remember vividly and the first occurred while I was eating lunch. With the anxiousness I was already feeling, I ended up putting my lunch away.

The books gothic atmosphere and philosophical ideas of religion, the afterlife, and science make me recommend this to older teens. I'm not saying it's too smart for the younger ones, but the pacing may be a bit too slow for them. White Crow is not a book with a clean "wrap it all up in a bow" ending. Its intention is to make you think about you've just read. Also, the book is just plain creepy.

So, with that all said, there was just something missing for me when I finished it. I know, it doesn't make sense, right? I don't know why and it's so frustrating! If you've read it, I'm curious as to your own opinions. Maybe you can figure out what it is that left it feeling incomplete for me. And no, it was not the ending.

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