February 08, 2013

Review: The Turning by Francine Prose

The Turning
by Francine Prose
Hardcover, ebook, 256 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by HarperTeen


Jack is spending the summer on a private island far from modern conveniences. No Wi-Fi, no cell service, no one else on the island but a housekeeper and the two very peculiar children in his care. The first time Jack sees the huge black mansion atop a windswept hill, he senses something cold, something more sinister than even the dark house itself.

Soon, he feels terribly isolated and alone. Yet he is not alone. The house has visitors—peering in the windows, staring from across the shore. But why doesn't anyone else see them . . . and what do they want? As secrets are revealed and darker truths surface, Jack desperately struggles to maintain a grip on reality. He knows what he sees, and he isn't crazy. . . . Or is he?

From nationally acclaimed author Francine Prose comes a mind-bending story that will leave you realizing how subtle the lines that separate reality, imagination, and insanity really are.

This book is labeled as young adult, but I would definitely mark it as a tween novel, just in case.

The Turning focuses on a teenager named Jack who has decided to work a summer job as a babysitter on an island secluded in the middle of nowhere, in what looks like a haunted castle. Yea...sounds like my idea of fun.

I had a couple of issues with this book.

1) the entire novel is written in the form of letters between Jack and Sophie, his girlfriend, and Jack's dad. But to me, it was a great idea executed poorly. Jacks letters were more like novels - I mean, who really remembers every conversation they've ever had - word for word? It just didn't seem believable.

2) It wasn't creepy enough. There were definitely moments (small moments) of suspense, but if the author was attempting to write a horror novel (which I suspect he/she was) than this book doesn't cut it. The action was predictable and never lasted very long.

Turning Point is a quick read, and if you're looking for a fast escape, I encourage you to give it a try. But for me, this one just did not reach up to its own potential.

1 out of 4 stars!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a hit or miss. I'm actually interested in the letter format. It can work, but usually doesn't. I'm always hopeful!!


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