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Don't Breathe a Word: A Novel (edition 2011)

by Jennifer McMahon

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4915920,840 (3.51)19
Member:BookNrrrd
Title:Don't Breathe a Word: A Novel
Authors:Jennifer McMahon
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2011), Edition: Original, Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library, Own as of Jan 2014
Rating:****
Tags:Fiction, Mystery, Woman Author

Work details

Don't Breathe a Word: A Novel by Jennifer McMahon

  1. 00
    Every You, Every Me by David Levithan (kaledrina)
    kaledrina: Evan & Phoebe reminded me of each other in many ways. Not a perfect recommendation.
  2. 00
    The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff (kaledrina)
  3. 00
    The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith (kaledrina)
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Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
Fifteen years ago, twelve-year-old Lisa disappeared after telling people that she was going off to live with the King of the Fairies. Twenty-year-old Phoebe found herself briefly fascinated with the case, little knowing that she would eventually begin dating the missing girl's brother. He doesn't talk about the incident much, and would really rather put the past behind him, but suddenly it's all being dragged up again, and new evidence may be coming to light. What really happened that day? Who knows the truth? And were there really fairies in the woods, or is what happened to Lisa an entirely mundane sort of horror? The story alternates modern-day chapters narrated by Phoebe as she attempts to understand, and to deal with the strange turns her own life has taken, with chapters narrated by Lisa in the days leading up to her disappearance, letting us see things as Lisa saw them, although how much she might or might not have understood about what was going on is another matter.

I... I almost don't even know where to begin with this book. It's nuts, but in a good way, full of twists and turns and creepiness and darkness, and a never-ending parade of revealed layers of secrets, and moments of "Oh my god, what is even happening?," and I pretty much ate it up. Much as I want to, I can't talk about my reaction to the ending, because it would totally be a spoiler, but I will say that, while I'm sure not everyone would agree, I found it surprisingly effective.

The novel certainly isn't flawless. McMahon doesn't have much of a gift for dialog, for one thing. But it was still the most engaging, disturbing, wild ride of a story I've read in quite a while. ( )
1 vote bragan | May 14, 2016 |
This book was creepy, but a great read! I loved the ending and has me hoping there's a sequel. ( )
  Raeadav | Mar 25, 2016 |
First, I need to say that I bought this as an e-book months ago and just got around to reading it now. So, instead of looking up the book and finding out what it was about, I just looked at the cover. I've done this before and sometimes it works out great and sometimes not so great.

In this case, let's just say that I guessed completely wrong. On the cover, the book is described as a "haunting page-turner that kept me up, spine shivering..." So, I expected a scary or thrilling book. I think the problem I had with the book was the fairies. I didn't expect the book to include fairies. Andhere were times when I wasn't sure if the fairies were supposed to be real or not. I guess trying to figure that out was part of the suspense of the book. But I just didn't buy into it.

The author did a great job of tying the characters together from the three different times: the time before Lisa was abducted, the time (15 years ago) when Phoebe first found out about the abduction and the present day when Phoebe is a grown woman living with her boyfriend. The twists and turns are interesting and kept me guessing until the end. But I can't say that I was ever on the edge of my seat. In the end, the author does wrap up all the loose ends nicely.

Recommended to:
If you are looking for a book about fairies or a book about mysterious happenings, you might want to give this book a try. But, if you are looking for a haunting page-turner, well there are better options. Perfect example of don't judge a book by it's cover. And proof that you can't always trust reviewers. ;) ( )
  Jadedog13 | Feb 3, 2016 |
There was always something a little bit odd about the small town of Harmony, Vermont. It’s proximity to Reliance, where all the residents, save one crying baby, disappeared in one day didn’t help its reputation. But it was home to Lisa, Sam and their cousin Eve. Lisa was always fascinated by fairies – what little girl isn’t? But her stories began to include a dark fairy king who wanted to take her to be his queen – then, one evening she walked into the woods behind her house and disappeared. Fifteen years later Lisa’s mysterious fairy book reappears and Sam begins getting telephone calls from someone claiming to be Lisa. Could it truly be Lisa or some cruel hoax?

The story sounds intriguing doesn’t it? In many respects it was, and it managed to keep me enthralled for about 2/3 of the book. Then the story began taking so many different twists and turns (which I usually do not mind), but I could get past the feeling that Ms. McMahon had many plot ideas she wanted to explore and tried to fit them in to the last third of this book. I lost a little bit of interest and found myself skimming just to get it read. That didn’t do the book justice, so when I got the end I was a bit disappointed.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
I have read three other books from this author enjoyed her writing very much, that is not the case with this book. Like all the others it is told in alternating chapters between the past and present, the problem with this book was the story and the characters. Non of the characters seemed real or believable, with Phoebe being at times so dim you wondered if she was breathing. The whole story regarding "fairies" may have seemed like a good idea, but the book got bogged down with completely unneeded details, and when everything was finally revealed at the end, I felt cheated. It was almost concluded as an afterthought. This book definitely did not work for me, at all. ( )
  zmagic69 | Jan 31, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
In memory of my grandmother, Laura Koon Howard, M. D., who had a rational explanation for everything
First words
Hotter than hot, no air-conditioning, sweat pouring down in rivers, the Magic Fingers motel bed vibrating beneath her, Mr. Ice Cream doing his thing above.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
One soft, summer night in a small Vermont town, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her brother, Sam, about a door—hidden among the ruins of an old town long forgotten—that led to a magical place. A place where she would meet Teilo, the King of the Fairies, and become his queen.
Sam didn't believe in fairies, ghosts, or anything supernatural back then, and now, fifteen years later, he still doesn't. It's on of the many things that his girlfriend, Phoebe, loves about this practical, sensible man. But a series of eerie occurrences challenges Sam's hard-headed realism. As events spin out of control, the couple finds themselves questioning their reality and Sam is reminded of a terrible promise he made years ago...a promise that could destroy them all.

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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. Her little brother, Sam, has grown up to be a levelheaded man who is still convinced that Lisa was abducted by a predator. When his girlfriend, Phoebe, receives a phone call from a frightened woman claiming to be Lisa, the two are seriously spooked and set out to discover the true identity of the mystery caller and what really occurred 15 years ago.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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