book blog · book review

The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook

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Skye Thorn has given tarot card readings for years, and now her psychic visions are helping the police find the town’s missing golden girl. It’s no challenge—her readings have always been faked, but this time she has some insider knowledge. The kidnapping was supposed to be easy—no one would get hurt and she’d get the money she needs to start a new life. But a seemingly harmless prank has turned dark, and Skye realizes the people she’s involved with are willing to kill to get what they want and she must discover their true identity before it’s too late.

 

 

 

*Synopsis and photo from Goodreads

 

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*I would like to thank HMH Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for the copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

Candi “Skye” Thorne needs money before high school graduation, which is soon, so she can move to New York with her best friend. She’s been working in a fast-food restaurant and occasionally, she gives tarot card readings at school on the side to save up but it is still not enough. Not that she really has a psychic ability as her mom likes to believe. Skye has been faking all her readings, she relies purely on instinct and observation. When an opportunity to earn money was presented to her, Skye accepted despite it being a kidnapping plot of the town judge’s teenage daughter. She was ensured that no one would get hurt, and that to reassure Skye. Her job is simple, she needs to come forward to the police with a psychic vision of Paige’s abduction. Things are going according to plan until the judge refused to pay the seemingly small ransom the kidnappers are asking. Things started getting out of control since then and as much as Skye wants to stop, she knows she know a lot already and there is no way out for her. Worst, she realized how dangerous are the people she’s dealing with. They are willing to do anything to get what they want. Even killing.

Lately, I’ve been picking up a lot of YA mystery and seemed to enjoy them a lot, too. The Hanging Girl is not an exception. I was absorbed in the story from start to finish despite Skye being an unreliable narrator. For one, she lies a lot and despite what she’d been through when she’s young because of lying, she still continues to do so. Sure, there are instances that you sympathize with her but there is also doubt as to what her real intentions are. It’s not only Skye who’s unlikeable, though. There aren’t any character in the story whom you feel connected to. But as the story progress, and the mystery started to unfold, I slowly warm to Skye and to the other characters as well, even Skye’s mother whom she seems to hate sometimes. And as interesting as Skye is, Paige, the judge’s daughter, is equally intriguing based on some of her POVs. And I wish there’s more of her in the story.

The twists and turns are really good and just when you thought you had things figured out, there’s revelation after revelation that you won’t see coming. At least I didn’t. The ending might not be to everyone’s liking and that’s understandable. Either you like it or not. I can’t tell much without spoiling but it would feel to some that justice is not served which it actually didn’t. Nevertheless, I appreciate the ending and I think that it fits on how Skye is as a person.

The Hanging Girl is my first Eileen Cook book and I’d say won’t be my last. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book without overly analyzing the story and questioning the characters’ morals. The book is well-written and quick-paced that it is so easy to get lost in the story. It is not short of mystery with surprising twists and turns that would keep the readers guessing till the very end.

RATING: 4.5/5

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