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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Review for Blur by Steven James

I received a copy of Blur by Steven James from NetGalley in exchange for a review.

Synopsis: The isolated town of Beldon, Wisconsin, is shocked when a high school freshman girl’s body is found in Lake Algonquin early in the school year. Just like everyone else in the community, 16-year-old Daniel Byers, son of the town’s sheriff, believes that Emily Jackson’s drowning death was accidental. But at her funeral, he has a terrifying vision of her sitting up in the coffin and asking for his help. Overcome with a crippling headache, he collapses, while the murderer watches, hidden in the crowd of mourners.
Later that week, after another macabre hallucination while quarterbacking during the homecoming football game, Daniel begins to think he’s going insane. However, convinced that Emily’s “resurrection” was more than just a mere hallucination, Daniel and a girl from school uncover a series of clues that convince them Emily was murdered. Daniel asks for his father’s help, telling him it’s a murder, but the sheriff suspects that his son’s hunches are just the result of his growing disconnect from reality.

The obstacles mount as Daniel’s difficulties distinguishing fantasy from reality become more and more pronounced. Soon, it becomes evident that his subconscious mind is synthesizing seemingly unrelated details from news articles and facts no one else notices, and then revealing the clues to Daniel through the grisly visions he’s seeing and the whispered voices he continues to hear. When the real killer becomes aware of Daniel’s suspicions of foul play, he plants evidence that leads the authorities, including Daniel’s own father, to suspect that Daniel is the one responsible for Emily Jackson’s death.

Full of twists and turns, this mystery with a Hitchkockian flair will launch a trilogy of YA thrillers featuring Daniel Byers, an unlikely hero struggling to find the truth as he slips further and further into his own private blurred reality.

I really like the cover of the book. It is haunting, and mysterious. It is what really drew me to ask for a copy to review. I love the colors, how bright they look on a dark and mysterious cover. It seems so ghostly, its haunting.

In short term for the synopsis, Emily is found dead at the bottom of a lake, and everyone plays it off as an accident. She just tripped and fell in, and the current drug her under. Right? That is what Daniel thought at least, until he begins to be visited by Emily's ghost, and is told otherwise.

At the beginning of the book, I was at war with myself. I felt the amazingness that this book could be, I felt like it was a work in progress and as I dug deeper into the book I found myself bound by the story. It is a wonderful story, after all. What distracted me from the story, was the writing. I always find mistakes within books, whether its grammar, spelling, run on sentences. They seem to jump out at me and they bug me, and sometimes they keep me from finishing a book altogether.

Blur had a lot of mistakes. There were grammatical errors, punctuation errors, and a lot of run on sentences. There were too many sentences to count that started with the word "and", "but", and "or".

The story seemed to jump around as well. At some points, an important portion of the story would be going on, and a second later it jumped to something that was not important at all. Steven James also had a knack for introducing characters, and a portion of the story where it was not necessary to introduce them in. One character that made no sense was Daniel's mother. Early on in the book, Daniel explains that she left and she would never be coming back into his life. Ever. Later on in the book, after the events begin occurring, she calls and miraculously wants to be back in his life?

While the author jumps around on introducing the characters, each character had their own unique personality. The book is told from Daniel's POV, and he is interesting and is a well rounded character. The only thing that I did not like about him is the fact that the author explained the entire football game through his eyes (I am not a football fan), but that wasn't his fault. Ty was a great character, even though he was the bully in Daniel's life. I felt that he brought the plot to life, and every time he appeared in the book I got even more confused and expected a large twist.

This story is creepy. Its eerie. Its a ghost story with a ton of twists. I read this book at night during one of the creepy parts, and I dreamed of what Daniel was seeing, and I was freaked. This book is very creepy, it will continue to haunt you after you read the last page.

The ending definitely surprised me. It was a twist, and completely changed my view on this book. At first, I thought that the ending was full of inconsistencies, but after thinking about it I realized that it was not. This book pulled me in and held me under, kind of like how Emily was drug under the water. It will not let you go until the end!

The best part is, there will be a sequel in 2015!

4 and a half books

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