Sunday, May 26, 2013

Book Review: Thorn Abbey

Thorn AbbeyAuthor: Nancy Ohlin
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Nothing is as it seems in this darkly romantic tale of infatuation and possession, inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.

Becca was the perfect girlfriend: smart, gorgeous, and loved by everyone at New England’s premier boarding school, Thorn Abbey. But Becca’s dead. And her boyfriend, Max, can’t get over his loss.

Then Tess transfers to Thorn Abbey. She’s shy, insecure, and ordinary—everything that Becca wasn’t. And despite her roommate’s warnings, she falls for brooding Max.

Now Max finally has a reason to move on. Except it won’t be easy. Because Becca may be gone, but she’s not quite ready to let him go…

With all my love, Becca. Even her handwriting is beautiful. And bold. The ink is a deep, velvety pink, the color of late-summer roses. Trembling, I told the big, swirly B of her name…and recoil, stifling a scream. The page is burning hot.

But these woods, this path, and the beach beyond bear little resemblance to Cape Cod. Everything about this place is cold and uninviting. Of course, it’s probably the early hour of the day and my foul mood. Or the fact that a girl I didn’t even know, a girl who’s been on my mind way too much since yesterday, drowned in these waters.

Silence or more silence. I can feel Devon’s gaze boring into me in the darkness. There’s probably a simple explanation for all of this: She is talking in her sleep, or drunk, or on drugs, or nuts. Or all of the above. Or maybe I’m having one of those weird dreams that feel completely real. Whatever it is, I wish it would stop.

Life at Thorn Abbey is definitely more complicated than life at Avery Park High.

I am reading a lot of negative reviews on this book, but I thought this book was worth the four stars that it received from me. I must be honest in saying that when I started reading this book I did not know it was a retelling of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, and further more I have never read this book in the first place. I believe that may be why I enjoyed the book because I had not other story to compare it to. I will admit that the book started somewhat slow, but as soon as Tess gets to this boarding school called Thorn Abbey, everything starts to pick up pace drastically! Tess immediately finds friends and develops a crush on the school heartthrob, Max, and quickly learns of his past and his girlfriend, Becca, who was recently killed in a sailboat accident. Horrible events happen right? Tess sees no reason why Max cannot get over Becca in order to give her a chance. Despite the warning of her new friends and roommate, Devon, Tess continues to pursue Max and learns a thing or two about this…Becca.

I must admit that to me this book was creepy and had me on edge. I did not expect for most of what happened in this book to happen. Again and please do keep in mind, I have not read the classic Rebecca, so I am not even sure what that book is even really about. This book was full of action and crazy, spooky scenes. I imagined every scenario and person, or should I say spirit, that Tess came in contact with. By the time the book was over and the final scene had occurred I felt my blood go cold. I am not sure about others but I find Ohlin to be a fantastic author, who can write passages that slowly lead you into mind-blowing scenes.

I really enjoy books that take place in affluent boarding schools. This book did not disappoint in this category. I did not think that too much time was spent on describing the setting, and in fact I would have liked to hear more about Thorn Abbey. I especially loved the details about the owners of the school, and I enjoyed the few scenes where Tess and Max visit their graves. There were several spooky details and scenes that took place just like this one. A lot of those scenes revolve around Devon, Tess’s roommate, whom I never really liked from the start and by the time I reached the end of the novel I understood why. This is the type of book that reveals secrets little by little, and if you are a fan of this type of novel at all then I suggest you give this book a try!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Simon Pulse in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. WAY anxious to read this book - it looks mysterious but oh-so-good. Thanks (as always!) for the fab review, Chelsey!