Saturday, 17 May 2014

REVIEW: Now You See Me by Emma Haughton

Author: Emma Haughton
Published by: Usborne on May 1st 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Psychological Thriller
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Links: Amazon, GoodReads
Silver Wreath
A captivating read!

Three years ago, thirteen-year-old Danny Geller vanished without trace.

His family and friends are still hanging on to every last shred of hope. Not knowing if he’s alive or dead, their world is shrouded in shadows, secrets and suspicions.

This is the story of what happens when your hope comes back to haunt you. When your desperation is used against you. When you search for the truth – but are too scared to accept the reality staring at you in the face...

Let’s face it. When you see the words ‘psychological thriller’ and 'the most incredible twist’ on the book cover, who could resist picking it up? I couldn't. Bonus points for it being inspired by a true story.

So this little tale circles around Hannah, a young teen whose best friend, Danny, mysteriously disappeared without a trace.  For 3 distressing years, both Danny’s parents and Hannah refuse to give up hope and at long last, they are reunited once again. But along with Danny, comes certain dark secrets.

My first thoughts were ‘I can’t wait to find out what the twist will be!’ and believe me when I say, I did not put this book down once I started it. I read it in one sitting because from the moment I turned the first page, I was already hooked. We get to meet Hannah who is currently witnessing a police search in the lake, as if I wasn’t curious enough. You wouldn’t know what to think once reading that page. Is Danny dead? Was he murdered? Was it an accident? What is happening?! I was extremely eager to find out! I love it when thrillers and mysteries start off with such an intriguing opening so I humbly bow down to Emma Haughton for having one of the best opening chapters I have read in my time.

Thankfully, we get to meet Danny later on. After 3 years, he is finally found in France, a little beaten up and with no memory of what had happened to him. This was incredibly frustrating for an impatient reader such as yours truly, because I was yearning for the truth of what had happened to him. In a way, I’m glad we were forced to wait because then we wouldn’t have much of a story. (Plus it would kill the excitement that we experience later on!)

This book was so incredibly gripping from start to finish that it leaves you begging for more. I loved Hannah and her courage and her strong friendship with Danny. We get to know her, understand her feelings and the torment she feels on remembering her mother’s death. It frightens her that she may have lost Danny too. As Hannah narrates, we discover her mixed thoughts as she questions her actions before Danny’s disappearance. She is torn with guilt, believing that she may have had something to do with him going missing, and as the readers we even question Danny’s actions too. Was it because of Hannah? The suspicions just kept on coming and soon, I found myself questioning everyone. Better still, once Danny returns, things start to get a little dark and hectic.

We get to meet an older Danny, matured, different and yet somewhat the same. But through Hannah’s thoughts we see that this new Danny has moved on from being a caring best friend to a rather secluded and mysterious teenager. There is something off about him and if that doesn't heighten your curiosity, then I don’t know what does. I was ecstatic to see that he was alive because I was so sure the twist would revolve around him being missing for the entirety of the book, but it wasn’t. It was far more astonishing and incredible! To add, Hannah’s father and Danny’s parents seem to be hiding a few secrets of their own and personally, I couldn’t even try to guess what they could be. In truth, I was expecting something a little more dramatic, so I was only a tiny bit disappointed when I found out but the rest of the book made up for it!

Now You See Me was great to read as it is set in the good old UK for a change. The world Haughton created was completely authentic - I could picture it all inside my head since I was familiar with the territory. The twists in this book were staggeringly frightening yet cleverly thought out, though I had a hunch near the end but I was still wary. The characters played their roles beautifully, each adding more to the plot. The book is filled endlessly with suspenseful surprises and twists, it generates suspicions and tension for the reader and leaves you mind blown by the end of it. This book will make you restless like you wouldn’t believe. I loved it. It was one of the best YA thrillers I have read and I can say with confidence that it can even challenge some of the best adult thrillers out there. Breath-taking book from start to finish, you wouldn’t regret reading this!

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