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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Thoughts: Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon

On a soft summer night in Vermont, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother, Sam, about a door that led to a magical place where she would meet the King of the Fairies and become his queen.
Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in love with Sam, a practical, sensible man who doesn’t fear the dark and doesn’t have bad dreams—who, in fact, helps Phoebe ignore her own. But suddenly the couple is faced with a series of eerie, unexplained occurrences that challenge Sam’s hardheaded, realistic view of the world. As they question their reality, a terrible promise Sam made years ago is revealed—a promise that could destroy them all.

I first saw Don't Breathe A Word by Jennifer McMahon at the bookstore back in the fall. Upon reading the back I thought it looked really good and I really wanted to read it. I didn't buy it right then, I actually wanted to see what it had rated on Goodreads before I took the plunge. I did add it to my wishlist and was pleasantly surprised when I received it as a gift in the Fall Book Exchange. Even with my mountainous TBR pile this book quickly moved to the top of the pile. I was suprememly curious about the story.

The story is told by two different narrators- by Pheobe, Sam's girlfriend which takes place in present day time and by Lisa the missing sister, her story is told 15 years prior to the present day and it recounts the events leading up to her disappearance. This aspect of the book was ok, however I would often find myself becoming bored with Lisa's story. Mostly because I wasn't all that convinced about the faries. When I was reading from this 12 year old girls perpective I felt like it was very much make believe. That none of it was real. It was only when reading from the perspective of Pheobe and the present day realities did I wonder what was going on, and whether this really was a messed up fantasy.

There were a few things about this book that I wished were different. One being the end. I did not like how this book ended. Some people would say that is was brillant. I thought it was a misguided attempt at making this book a little more mysterious. To me, this book didn't end. I mean, it ended or I felt like it ended, and everything was winding down, but then all of a sudden you're not sure. I hate when that happens. For me if a book is not part of a series, there should be a definit end to things. To go along with the end, I thought that McMahon went a little to dramatic in places.


  1. Hmm, from the sound of it, I probably wouldn't like that ending either. Sounds pretty frustrating.

  2. I'm with Aylee, I wouldn't like that ending either!
    But the story does sound pretty interesting, if you can get past the suspension of belief that Lisa's narrative seems to require.

  3. Have to agree with the other commenters, I think the ending would bother me. If it's a stand alone novel, it needs to end lol.

    Nice review :)

    Nerd Girls at Books to the Sky


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