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- Publisher: Random House Children's Books
- Publication date: 9/11/2012
- Pages: 288
- Source: eARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review
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?
I love a good mystery and I totally love this cover. It was interesting to follow Clare through the story and discover what really happened and who did it, but I figured it all out rather quickly. Not all of it, but a lot of it. I can see how the mystery is woven together though and it was a good story. I liked how there was a slight supernatural element added in too, but it was never really explained except that it goes back a few generations. (Unless I missed it somewhere, but I don't think that I did.)
Clare and her mother have just moved back to the town where she grew up and she is friends with Rachel and they have started a little business together selling her designs. She has this gift where she can see people's pasts when she touches their clothes, and things get a bit crazy when she comes across a missing girls jacket. Clare doesn't want to use her gift, but she feels like she is meant to solve this mystery. On top of that she is also falling for Jack, but Rachel warns her to stay away from him. Jack seems like a nice guy though, and Rachel can't see how he can be all that bad. Clare wasn't really a character that I could connect with, but I didn't dislike her or anything. She just wasn't all that memorable. She is determined to figure out what is going on and wants to know everyone else's secrets, but doesn't want anyone to know hers. I get that her secret is a bit crazy, but she gets mad that other people are hiding things. Maybe it's just me, but I was a little annoyed with her behavior at times.
There is a lot of other characters too, some of them important, others not so much. None of them very memorable. I would have liked to be able to really feel the characters or even want to sympathize with them, or like them, or even want to push them out a window or something, but sadly that was not the case. They were there, they were part of the story, but that was it. I guessed at who did what and who was a major part of certain situations rather easily.
I think that this book could have been really awesome. The story was there, though maybe a bit lagging at times, but the characters really did nothing for me. I wanted to see how Clare would figure everything out. I was hoping things wouldn't just conveniently happen and make it super easy for her. Which, if by the last few chapters you haven't figured it all out you might be a little shocked, but then go "OMG how did I not figure that out sooner?" I know this does sound super negative and I really don't mean it to be. It's just that to me the characters can make or break a book for me and I thought the characters really could have been much better. I found myself bored when it was just them hanging out and wanting to skim over a lot of dialogue and just get on with the story. If you like creepy mysteries, this book will be great for you. I did like it despite not connecting with the characters. 3 out of 5 stars.