Title: Thorn Abbey
Author: Nancy Ohlin
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Star Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A valiant, brave attempt to retell the classic gothic Rebecca, I think I would've enjoyed Thorn Abbey more if I hadn't read the original--something about this novel just fell short for me.
This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Tess arrives at Thorn Abbey, a fish out of water, struggling to fit in amongst trust fund babies and designer clothes. Humble, quiet, and shy, she finds herself in even deeper trouble when she falls for Max: a mysterious, brooding boy with something to hide. Despite warnings to stay away from him, she finds herself in love.. And watched by a strange presence. Convinced that beautiful, saintly Becca is watching her from beyond, Tess finds herself racing against time to solve the mystery of Becca's death.. Hoping and praying that she doesn't end up killed as well..
What I enjoyed:
-I liked Tess a lot--insecure and shy, with severe social anxiety, but gaining more confidence as the novel goes on
-Max, of course, brooding and sweet and romantic but hiding dark secrets
-I liked the way the author made it take place at a posh boarding school--in a way, that part was a fitting homage to Rebecca
-The resident spookiness--that, at least, reminded me of the original
-The big mystery--the character of Becca and the mystery surrounding her kept the novel going for me, even if it fell short otherwise
-I really liked the way the novel ended
What could've been better:
-As I said before, I think I would've liked it better had I not read the original--for me, it just fell short
-I found myself predicting what was going to happen
-In the beginning of the book Tess didn't really do anything for me, despite trying to relate to her
-Devon's crazy mood swings, though explained later, kind of gave me whiplash
Thorn Abbey was a good try at putting a modern spin on a classic, but it just didn't work for me. Next on deck: Empress of The Night: A Novel of Catherine The Great by Eva Stachniak!