Thursday, May 9, 2013

Charm & Strange

Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
Publication Date: June 11, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 216
Keywords: drugs, family, supernatural, werewolves
Format Read: eARC via NetGalley

Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself. He's part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.
He's part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable.
Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present. Before the sun rises, he'll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths — that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying. 

This book was strange. And I don't mean that in a bad way. I enjoy when books don't give all the answers away right at the beginning. And this one definitely didn't. It alternated between flashbacks and the present, which was the party in the forest. It took me a while to catch on that Drew was who he was in his childhood, and Win was the version of himself now, at boarding school struggling with his past. I also liked that the main issue with his conflict wasn't really revealed until midway through. I kind of had suspicions, but it was never said outright, which made me involved and invested in this.

That being said, I still wanted more information. I feel like the author brought up some really interesting background story lines, and then just kind of left the reader hanging. I don't feel like conflicts were properly solved by the end, and I definitely had questions about his past, and what happened with the tennis match and his opponent. That was never really finished, and I wanted to know what was going on.

This was a very short book, and I went through it quickly. It was a pretty solid read, aside from the pieces of information I still wanted to be solved up. It's one of those books I wouldn't recommend right off the bat, but if mentioned, I would say you could give it a go.

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