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I Belong

Review: Grim by Anna Waggener

Title: Grim

Author: Anna Waggener

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: N/A

Publication Date: June 1, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages

ISBN-10: 054538480X (Scholastic)

ISBN-13: 978-0545384803 (Scholastic)

Reviewed by: Michelle


When Erika wakes up after a horrific car crash, she finds herself somewhere between earth and heaven, between life and death. She doesn’t want to accept help from Jeremiah, who she’s not sure she can trust, even as she finds herself drawn to him, following him into a grim city of souls. She’s not sure who wants to help her and who wants to hurt her. And she’s desperate to get back to her children.

Shawn’s never thought about having to shoulder the responsibility of caring for his young sister Megan and his reckless older sister. And he never imagined that the three of them would find themselves in a haunted wood, sometimes chased, sometimes assisted, never sure where they’re headed.

Quick & Dirty: An intriguing tale that brings out some dark feelings.

Opening Sentence: I love my youngest child more than the other two, and God bless them but they all know it.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Anna Waggener’s Grim is an intriguing tale, one that brought out dark feelings (at least for me). The cover is a little eerie using somber tones. Waggener wrote this at a somewhat young age, and I was amazed at the level of talent she had already. Waggener’s creativity speaks volumes, and it is evident throughout the pages of Grim.

Erika is a mother of three children, who finds herself in the afterlife after a tragic accident. Upon awakening, she quickly realizes that the tragic accident wasn’t the original cause for going to the afterlife. Here, Erika meets Jeremiah, the sixth son of the king of the land. There are many similarities between Erika and Jeremiah’s own mother. Within the war raging in the afterlife, Jeremiah and his brothers are at each other’s throats. Erika agrees to aid Jeremiah, but for a chance to see her children, but at what price.

Erika is a mother, through and through. She was very well written and it was evident that Erika was based on someone close to Waggener. There are many realistic characteristic traits that make Erika a believable character. Because Erika wanted to see her children in the afterlife, it created many problems, which caused an interesting story arc. But I also feel that this is where the story started to slow down a bit, trying to explain many threads at such an early stage of the book.

The other point of view in Grim is through the eyes of the children. A little bit confusing, but we found out a little bit about the personalities of Rebecca, Shawn, and Megan. The transitions between the children were a little hindering, causing some confusion for me. I thought their initial introduction was strong, but it felt muddled through after a while, like there were too many elements to keep up with.

Waggener’s world is different. The afterlife is a large vast place and Grim’s version was a little more attainable to the imagination than others. I found many elements to be refreshing, and others not so much. Erika’s perspective was the most interesting and the one that I connected with. I didn’t feel so connected with the other view points, which caused me to disconnect with the story.

Waggener’s writing style was unique. The voice of the story followed the thoughts of each character. There were a few pages, with a black background, with a mystery voice. It isn’t apparent until the end what part it plays, and in the beginning it was really confusing. But despite my personal preferences, I wanted more. I wanted to learn more about Jeremiah and his story. I didn’t think I got enough of him, and he could easily have been the most intriguing character in Grim.

Grim is dark and complex, at times confusing, but in the end, the threads of the story tied together nicely. Waggener still delivered a tale that I enjoyed, and I think you will too.

Notable Scene:

“He’s going to kill me, Gabriel. I hope you realize that. I hope you realize that it isn’t fun and games anymore, if it ever really was.”

Gabriel rose sharply to his feet, but Jeremiah had already put up a hand to calm him.

“That’s all, Brother,” he said. “That’s all. I’m sorry to have wasted your time.”

He pivoted on his heel and walked through the door before Gabriel could say anything else.

FTC Advisory: Scholastic provided me with a copy of Grim.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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