Monday, May 23, 2011

Unthinkable by Shirley Duke

If you're looking for a quick creepy story, pick up this book. However, if you're looking for substance and an overall satisfying story, this might not be the route to take.

Omar has this problem where he has horrifying visions of people's deaths. He takes these visions and turns them into stories that he posts online because, as far as he's concerned, these are just weird dreams. Suddenly, though, his stories are coming true - starting with the murder of a former friend. Once it happens again, he makes the connection and realizes he needs to stop the images from coming true. When rewriting the story doesn't work, he knows he has to stop the visions - and his own life. Suddenly a girl shows up and she knows what he's going through and knows how to help him, without resorting to suicide. Is she the answer to his prayers, or does she have something sinister up her sleeve.

The book started out pretty good. Being such a short book (only 103 pages) it went by really quickly, but in doing so, lacked certain things like character development and other elements that draw out the story. It could have been slowed down. I would have like to have been invested more in the characters and seen more of the visions and incidents connected to them. However, for a quick chill, it works...up until the climax when we learn the truth. I personally rolled by eyes but maybe my expectations are too high. Then everything got wrapped up in a neat little bow, which seemed to easy - especially when the villain is supposedly "partially immortal." Again, maybe my expectations are too high but I think this novel could have pushed for more.

Based on the size of the novel, I think it's aimed either lower level readers or hesitant readers. It's a scary story simple enough to draw them into the world of reading without overwhelming them. It does a decent job in that aspect. Aiming for simplistic, though, makes it just that - simplistic. I thought the book had more potential than it achieved.

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