Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Charm & Strange (Galley) Book Review

Hi Guys,
I know, I know... I haven't been posting reviews like I need to, I apologize. I can't help it, my schedule has been hectic this semester, and things are just starting to die down now that I only have two exams left to take. Although, you guys should be pleased to learn that I've been reading quite a few books since I last posted a review. I would also like to say that I've been on an amazing book streak, every book I've read in the past month has been phenomenal. One of those phenomenal books just so happens to be the book I'll be reviewing today: Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn. I received this a few weeks before it was released as a galley from the publisher. So I want to give a huge thanks to St. Martins Griffin publishers, I really appreciate the opportunity to read this book early. Here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . .
Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself.
He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.
He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable.
Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present.
Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.

My first impression of this novel was that it was going to be really good. I e-mailed the publishers, and they sent me a galley copy of this, and I was very excited. This book starts off very weird, but amazing. I read the first half of the book in an hour, and I didn't want to put it down. This book is separated by alternating chapters, matter and anti-matter. Matter being what is presently happening to Win, and anti-matter being something that Win has previously experienced. The further I got in this novel, the more I understood, but with every one thing I understood, I got ten more questions about Win and his circumstances. This is definitely a good mystery novel, not because Win is trying to find a killer, or a thief, but because he is trying to find himself. I went through half of this book believing one thing about Win, and the other half questioning my belief and trying to make sense of the information the book gave. This book has several plot twists, and I loved learning about Win, and how he came to be the way he is. I loved this book so much, it is eerily amazing, and unbelievably dark. It is like a slightly more dark and sinister version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Before reading this book, I was in a slump, and this novel definately brought me out of it. I give this book 4/5 stars, not for any particular reason, it just didn't seem like a 5-star book to me. You guys definately have to check this book out when it is released on June 11th. This book has impacted me immensely, and I find myself thinking about it, even now, a month after reading it. It's dark and impactful nature definitely makes this book one of my favorites. Mark your calendars, June 11th.

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