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I Belong

Early Review: Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield

Title: Hanging by a Thread

Author: Sophie Littlefield

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: Banished (Book 3)

Publication Date: September 11, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 288 Pages

ISBN-10: 0385741049 (Delacorte Press)

ISBN-13: 978-0385741040 (Delacorte Press)

Reviewed by: Michelle


Summer is the best part of the year in Winston, California, and the Fourth of July is the highlight of the season. But the perfect town Clare remembers has changed, and everyone is praying that this summer will be different from the last two—that this year’s Fourth of July festival won’t see one of their own vanish without a trace, leaving no leads and no suspects. The media are in a frenzy predicting a third disappearance, but the town depends on tourist dollars, so the residents of Winston are trying desperately to pretend nothing’s wrong.

And they’re not the only ones hiding something.

Clare, a seamstress who redesigns vintage clothing, has been blessed—or perhaps cursed—with a gift: she can see people’s pasts when she touches their clothes. When she stumbles across a denim jacket that once belonged to Amanda Stavros, last year’s Fourth of July victim, Clare sees her perfect town begin to come apart at the seams.

In a town where appearance means everything, how deep beneath the surface will Clare dig to uncover a murderer?

Quick & Dirty: Maternal relationships throughout the generations can withstand dangerous challenges in this paranormal read.

Opening Sentence: They say our house is cursed, and maybe it’s true.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

In the third book of the Banished series, Sophie Littlefield’s Hanging by a Thread changes momentum, allowing Clare to voice the story. Murder and mystery graces the pages, presenting the reader with a thrilling read for the paranormal genre. A mother’s love extends through generations, and Hanging by a Thread reiterates that very well.

For many generations, a gift has been passed throughout family members. Aside from a gift, came a curse. Set in the 1920s, Clare’s great-great-grandmother Alma was killed on her wedding day, by a jealous man. Killed in Alma’s dress shop, she lost her life shortly after giving life to her daughter. A unique gift resulted from the unfortunate event, and has since been passed down through the generations.

Clare has a special ability, one that others before her have had the privilege of knowing. She has visions
upon touching a fabric or article of clothing that someone has worn. Clare can see glimpses of actions when they wore the article of clothing, especially if it was of extreme importance. One item in particular has revealed the real reason behind a girl’s murder, tying someone she knows to the murder. Clare must now reveal the truth and trust her instincts to solve the mystery.

I had a like/dislike relationship with Clare. She was a good heroine, one who addressed her life circumstances with an adult attitude. I think that she was someone who many young girls could look up to, especially where Clare’s self-esteem was involved. She was creatively intuitive which translated into more things than just art. She was smart and curious, and at times a little nosy.

I appreciated the many relationships between the maternal generations. From Clare’s Nana to her own
mother, there is a level of love and loyalty that is clearly shown throughout the story. There is strength from these women, including the small glimpse of Alma that we see. Rachel was someone that I didn’t relate to, but it is usually the case for friends. It did, however, allow me to appreciate Clare and her traits as a person.

Littlefield’s world is different, but definitely not outside the realms of reality. Even if Hanging by a Thread is a paranormal themed genre, there are many realistic scenarios that come into play. There are many definite details that Littlefield has written, and it allowed for an interesting read.

I felt that at times the story disconnected from itself. There were a lot of different stories within the main storyline that left me confused. I also thought that there were strings of thought that weren’t complete, leaving me wanting more out of the story. And because of this, I felt that the pacing was a little slower than I would have wanted.

Notable Scene:

The face came closer, snarling and spitting, wailing, taking up the entire screen of my inner eye, brandishing itself across the expanse of my mind. Hands . . . The face was no longer disembodied; a shadow figure raised its arms toward me, reaching, threatening, longing to hurt me, strike me, strangle me. Agonizing tremors wracked me even while I knew my mortal body was locked in place, immobile, helpless. It felt as though the vision would somehow crossover, that its rage was strong enough to defeat the thin barrier between the remembered and the real, and find a way to hurt me from deep within my mind.

“You know why.”

The voice hissed at me, wrecked and broken, and I could make out teeth and bared lips. And I did know why— or not why, exactly, only that I deserved what was coming.

A fist swung toward me. Sharp pain. Flickering light. Everything rushing away.

Then nothing.

The Banished Series:

1. Banished

2. Unforsaken

3. Hanging by a Thread

FTC Advisory: Delacorte Press/Random House provided me with a copy of Hanging by a Thread.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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2 Responses to “Early Review: Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield

  1. KtNo Gravatar

    I don’t think this is part of the Banished series. On Sophie’s blog she called it a standalone.

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  2. kimbacaffeinateNo Gravatar

    I have this ARC and stopped by just to peak to see if you liked it..boy am I glad I did..i had no idea this was the third in a series. I am not sure this would work as a standalone. Now that I’ve decide to pass on reviewing it..i read your full review. Despite your feelings towards this book..would you recommend the series?

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