Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Review: The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

The Bargaining
Title: The Bargaining

Author: Carly Anne West

Publication date: February 2015

Published by: Simon Pulse

Source: Own hardcover

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The fact that neither of her parents wants to deal with her is nothing new to Penny. She’s used to being discussed like a problem, a problem her mother has finally passed on to her father. What she hasn’t gotten used to is her stepmother…especially when she finds out that she’ll have to spend the summer with April in the remote woods of Washington to restore a broken-down old house.

Set deep in a dense forest, the old Carver House is filled with abandoned antique furniture, rich architectural details, and its own chilling past. The only respite Penny can find away from April’s renovations is in Miller, the young guy who runs the local general store. He’s her only chance at a normal, and enjoyable, summer.

But Miller has his own connection to the Carver House, and it’s one that goes beyond the mysterious tapping Penny hears at her window, the handprints she finds smudging the glass panes, and the visions of children who beckon Penny to follow them into the dark woods. Miller’s past just might threaten to become the terror of Penny’s future…

My rating: ★★★☆☆

I was very excited to read The Bargaining, especially after reading and loving this author’s other book, The Murmurings! Unfortunately, this one didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

First of all, I had a hard time getting into this book. I actually left myself a note on page 215 about this: “It’s slow. Finding myself skimming pages to get to the action.” PAGE 215! That’s 50% into the book! Can you believe it?!


The mystery behind the forest I found quite intriguing, actually. BUT (I know, I know. There’s going to be a lot of this, unfortunately) why did the things that happen happen?! Why these particular woods? Why are they like this? I know what happened, I understand that and it was interesting, but WHY?! There was no exact explanation at the end, and it was kind of frustrating for me.

Another thing that was frustrating were the characters. Penny and Miller’s relationship was odd, at best. They’re so defensive, uptight, irritable, moody, temperamental, and I could just go on and on. Look, I understand why they were the way they were—they’ve had a lot going on in their lives. I get it! But their attitudes would change so fast and without warning that it gave me whiplash. And it happened again and again. Ugh!

Speaking of attitudes, Penny was just awful to April, her stepmother. She was defiant and just plain mean. I loved April! She was so nice! Penny didn’t even bother to get to know her before she started judging. I can understand why she was resistant, but just stop trying to make the Evil Stepmother cliche thing happen, ‘cause it’s not going to happen! April is genuinely a good person and wants to help! What I don’t understand is how she got along with her stepbrother Rob, but couldn’t give April the time of day.

head shake

I only wish we would’ve seen more of Rob because not only did I like him, but he was pretty much the only person Penny had a positive relationship with.

But overall, I enjoyed it. The mystery was interesting and I appreciated the creepy setting—that was awesome! I only wish the ‘why’ of said mystery was explained more thoroughly.

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think about it? If not, what do you think? Does it sound like something you might want to read? Leave me a link to your review or comment below! :)

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