Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mini Opinion: Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon

Paperback, 464 pages
Published May 17th 2011 by Harper Paperbacks
ISBN0061689378 (ISBN13: 9780061689376)

From Goodreads:

On a soft summer night in Vermont, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother, Sam, about a door that led to a magical place where she would meet the King of the Fairies and become his queen.

Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in love with Sam, a practical, sensible man who doesn’t fear the dark and doesn’t have bad dreams—who, in fact, helps Phoebe ignore her own. But suddenly the couple is faced with a series of eerie, unexplained occurrences that challenge Sam’s hardheaded, realistic view of the world. As they question their reality, a terrible promise Sam made years ago is revealed—a promise that could destroy them all.

My thoughts:  Although this is not my usual genre, the cover was so appealing, I decided to give it a try thinking that  it was going to be more of a typical mystery/suspense story but it had all the creepy elements of a fantasy/fairy tale; not the cinderella happy-ever-after type fairy tale either.

I have to admit I was drawn in at the very beginning, suspending my disbelief in the fairy world, and getting caught up in the characters. McMahon sure knows how to impart a sense of eerie foreboding while making her characters come alive through shifting points of view and going back and forth in time. Twists and turns with no one being what they seem. The king of the fairies did warn the reader that fairies lie.Some of the elements in the book might make you want to read this story in the daylight only!  *Shiver*

However, as the book was nearing the end and despite or maybe because of the many whiplash-inducing twists, my enchantment with the characters came to a screeching halt. Although most of the plot is well constructed there were some implausible and inexplicable things that just did not add up. While I was reading, I had a 3 *** rating in my head but the ending so turned me off (just too weird for me and explaining why would necessitate spoilers) that I'm giving it a 2** rating. As I said, this is not my usual reading fare and that may have had something to do with my feelings. This is just my opinion of the book but you may very well love it!

Jennifer McMahon is also the author of Dismantled, Island of Lost Girls and Promise Not to Tell.
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by SA/Harper Collins.


  1. I kind of loved it, kind of. What I loved is the ending. I'm a big fan of the ambigous. I loved the idea that you could take the ending one of two ways. Either it's the mythology is true and those things do exist or the mother was right and it was all a big lie and some really bought into it.

  2. I am hoping to read this soon, and had very little idea about the plot points. I think it sounds pretty interesting, and the fact that it has a somewhat open ending also intrigues me. I am sorry to hear that it wasn't a perfect read for you though I would be interested in discussing it when I get done!

  3. I appreciate your honest review. I have not read any Jennifer McMahon yet, but she's on my to read list.

  4. a 2...oh my.
    but I agree the cover gets ones attention.

  5. Hm, now I'm very curious about the ending.

  6. I read this a few weeks earlier and I feel the same way about the ending. It's hard to gripe abou it without giving up spoilers so I won't. For the most part, it was one of the best thriller I've read in awhile. Plenty of twists and turns and you have to be very involved to keep up.

  7. I read McMahon's (3) earlier books and liked them (especially #1) but didn't get this one yet. Sorry the ending was disappointing.

  8. It sounds like you need to like thrillers to appreciate this one. I'm mixed about them and it is not a preferred genre so I don't usually pick them up.

  9. Hi Kaye! I'm Wendy from the "Book Pages" group. I read "Promise not to Tell" and loved it, so naturally this one is on my wish list. I am sorry that you didn't like it more. Did you read the other one? You might like it better.

    I love the whole penguin thing you got going. Cute!

  10. Sorry this wasn't a better read for you Kaye. I do have this one to read and I'm looking forward to it. I'm curiuos what I'll think of it. I don't think it has to do with not being your typical genre - I think it's just sometimes a book will hit us the wring way.

  11. I liked this but the ending did come fast and then kind of freaked me out!

  12. It's funny how those endings can either make or break the book isn't it? I just finished one like that where the ending made the book better for me and moved it up a notch in the rating.


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