Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Hanging By A Thread Review

Hanging By A Thread
-       Sophie Littlefield

Publisher: Delacorte Books

E-Arc read courtesy of Delacorte Books and Netgalley
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?

Clare has a special gift – she can read moments of high emotion in other peoples clothing. Despite this she loves working with vintage clothing creating new designs and selling them with her best friend Rachel during the summer break. When she comes across the jacket of a girl who went missing a year before, Clare realises most of the people around her have secrets that won’t stay buried...

Sophie Littlefield has a real skill for writing about real people. Clare’s worries about starting a new school and fitting in are so relatable – as is her mother’s ability to hide from the world and throw herself into her work. Every character feels real and layered and miles away from a stereotype. People are neither good nor bad but make mistakes and act without thinking. I loved Clare and how she is coming into her own – standing up to her mother and digging into the mystery of the town. This is really a coming of age story as Clare starts to take responsibility of her gift and what it brings her. She also worries about her Gran, her mother and her friends which is nicer than many YA heroines who worry solely about themselves.

The mystery of the missing Amanda is intriguing with a huge range of suspects and I was never sure what Clare was going to discover. However, there never felt like there was a lot of tension in the search – Clare could have stopped at any time without upsetting the town or her life. In fact I would have been happy just to follow Clare around for the summer going through her normal life. The writing is beautifully expressive and just melts around you as you read. I loved the characters and the writing, but some of the momentum of the story was missing. However, I could read Sophie’s writing for ages – unfortunately I tend to read her stories too quickly!

Recommended for fans of Jeri Smith-Ready and Isobelle Carmody. 7.5 out of 10


  1. Gorgeous review, Mel! Even if you gave it a lover rating. Sometimes the book is so lovely you read it to enjoy author's writing style :)

  2. Oh this sounds like a book I would enjoy. I really am loving the sound of these characters. I also love it when a YA character can feel and worry about something more than themselves. Brilly review!

  3. I love it when you can connect with a character. Thanks for review.

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