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Close to Home

Close to Home - Lisa Jackson Sarah and her two daughters move, somewhat reluctantly on all their parts, back to her childhood home in Oregon to renovate it. Sarah, however, is haunted by her past there, and the house's own past is seeping through the floorboards... Then teenage girls start going missing throughout the town and Sarah is scared for her daughters' safety, as well as her own.

*Received this book via Bookbridgr.

I applied to receive this book because it was written by a female author and the genre seemed intriguing. It was the biggest reading mistake I've made for a long while.

First and foremost, the writing was amateur at best. The dialogue was shaky and childish; it was there just to be there. There was absolutely no world-building whatsoever and very little description of anything other than the house. I couldn't imagine what the place was like at all, and there wasn't much description of the characters, either. All I know is that they were either a girl, man or woman, little else.

The plot was weed-thin as well. Half-way through the book a teenager is kidnapped and that's basically all that happens throughout. Some more girls are kidnapped, in the most unlikely manner possible, and the plot was such a snail-paced crawl it seemed like it would never, ever end. Another girl is kidnapped and then another, and nothing else is happening, except some very shaky side-plots that are about as realistic as rocking horse excrement.

The characters were paper-thin and utterly pointless. The reactions of the kidnapped teenagers was completely unrealistic and I felt no sympathy, empathy or any other kind of emotion for any of the characters. It was a poor attempt at a crime novel and it certainly was not full of suspense nor was it thrilling in any way imaginable. The secrets that came out within two pages right at the end (the kidnappings, the past of the house, Sarah's past etc) were guessable, predictable, un-revelation-like and simply idiotic.

It would have made a half-decent short story and it read like a first draft of a NaNoWriMo 50,000-in-30-days attempt. I am quite optimistic about my own writing career, however: if this and Twilight can get published, I'm sure my own work will have no trouble.

If you like the Young Adult banal drivel that's about you will enjoy this.