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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Deepest Cut

Last Saturday was my birthday! And one of the gifts that I have received was a very short but very interesting and exciting book: The Deepest Cut by J.A. Templeton. I don't think I've ever been scared by reading a book but this one... it gave me the creeps but I really did enjoy the book!

Riley has lost her mother a year ago and is struggling with the guilt. But she's not only struggling with that, she's struggling with her new gift. The gift she got when she woke up in the hospital bed. She sees them, every one of them... ghosts, the death, whatever you want to call them. But nobody believed her. Riley doesn't know how to control it, doesn't know how to make it go away. So she just doesn't make eye contact at all and hopes they'll go away eventually. 
That is until Riley and her family move all the way from Portland to a town in Scotland: Braemar. Living at a very old inn a ghosts is following her around. A very, very hot ghosts that doesn't seem from this century and soon Riley finds herself talking to him and getting closer to him. The ghost it cursed, doomed to stay on the place he has lived all his life and Riley wants to set him free, give him his peace. But that's crossing the witch that cursed him. Soon Riley finds herself in a hard position, giving her new friend the peace he deserves or walking away so the Witch won't hurt her family anymore...

I love the cover. I just love how the girl looks, how the background looks, how the title is presented and that's also what attracted me to the book first. Then the synopsis looked amazing and the book... it's even better than I expected. Though the rating on Goodreads is average. What I also was very excited about is that you can interpret the title in very different ways. The story will make sure that there'll be more than one explanation for it and that was something I was just so happy about!

First of all, our main character Riley. She's not an ordinary girl at all! She's gifted but with the gift came a lot of struggles, a lot of problems and a lot of dangerous situations. Above that she was in the car wreck that caused her mother to die and Riley feels very guilty. She thought she could summon her mother since she can see the death but her mother never appeared. Torn and devastated Riley thinks her mother doesn't come because she hates her, hates her for killing her. And yet she still feels responsible to save a lost soul that's been cursed for all eternity. Which also shows how Riley really is. 

Riley was a very special character, in my opinion. She was more reserved than others and she has changed a lot over the years. It's not that we see a direct change in her that exact moment but we do get many flashbacks to what her past life was like, what made her change and what the changes were and I was very keen on seeing it. But I was also very happy to see how she reacted with seeing the death, how she felt, how she responded because I don't think it's easy having a gift like that. Especially because each time there's a ghost near, she feels how they have died. She even gets visions where she's being that person, in the exact same spot at the exact same time and then is being murdered. She doesn't only see the death, she feels the death and for me that was a great asset to the story because I never read a book where the gift goes this far.

Which brings me to the next character I'd love to discuss because I adored him from beginning to the ending: the ghost. Mister MacKinnon! Or should I say Mister Handsome? Because from the descriptions we get from Riley, this guy is not a ghost that looks pale and starving. 

In fact he doesn't even seem mad. You'd think if you were cursed to stay around the place you lived for all eternity he'd be mad. But no, this one was only surprised and very impressed that someone could see him. He also wasn't alone anymore and I think that was reflected very well in this book, the devastation of being alone and finally being able to communicate with someone. 

I also think young MacKinnon made this story very special because Riley and he start depending on each other and a real friendship grows. I really loved to see that. I know it sounds really weird that a human and a ghost could be friends, maybe like each other even but we could say the same with a human and an alien! As far as I'm concerned, this was just very refreshing and out of the box. 

Another character I really want to discuss is Shane, Riley's brother. That because I saw the greatest change in him. It's clear that Shane did  not want to move to Scotland at all. And Riley also talks a lot about him, how their bond was before the accident, before their mother died. And you really see that they were very close and helped each other out. Though in the beginning we only see Shane as a mad maniac who drinks, smokes and only does the bad sort of things at the age of fifteen! 

But as I said, we see the biggest change in his behavior. While you're reading you will see a moment where it all click together in his mind and where mad maniac Shane is replaced by a Shane with worry. Old characteristics that Riley described are coming to the surface and I was really keen on that. In the beginning I was really frustrated with Shane because he only seemed to blame other people and does bad things, yet he really grew on me! 

I'd want to say a few words about the witch that cursed young MacKinnon, but not too much so you all can read it for yourselves! She's really terrifying! I can't even describe it, she just gave me the creeps. We even see visions of Riley in this book where you see how this witch was ages ago and how she died. I also hated this witch, but I'm sure you'll see for yourself why that was! She's not only scary but also very manipulative and dangerous. She interferes, she makes characters dream weird things, she makes them do crazy things. So I think these things can show my distrust towards this character. 

As for the plot. The oh-so scary but still surprising and very enjoyable plot! This book just kept surprising me! In the beginning I was like "okay, this is going great!" but then this witch comes a long and everything changes in a blink of an eye.

She's out to harm Riley and her family if Riley even dares to take contact with MacKinnon again. And ever since then I, as a reader, was also inflicted. I wanted Riley's ghost friend to have peace but I also didn't want to see Riley hurt or Shane for that matter. And you were really part of it the whole time because also Riley felt this way. I was very happy that this book inflicted this onto me because it made this book more thrilling.

Thrilling in a way that Riley makes the decisions even if you're not okay with them. She'll roll with it and you'll have to just follow and hope things don't get ugly. It was just so good to be on the tip of your toes each time Riley was doing something that could cause this Witch to go insane! And there's even a part where as well as the reader as Riley don't know who is trustworthy. 

Which also made this book an absolute page turner. The thrill, the surprise but also the friendship between Riley and good-looking ghost MacKinnon were all parts that really made this an excellent read. The Witch goes insane a few times in the book and then I heard something outside and got a little bit uncomfortable but that was okay. I loved it that this book made me feel so many things and even scared me a little. I never had a book that scared me! 

Also Scotland is presented a little. I've read one book Sparks in Scotland where you really see Scotland through the eyes of the character. Here it was more limited but I was still very happy that we saw some of it, like for example the Braemar castle.

And lastly, the end. It wasn't how I imagined it at all, so speaking of a surprise! Somehow I kind of saw a part coming but then it didn't seem the real ending of this book. But it did cause you to get emotional! Eventually it wasn't the end at all and other things started to happen only to give you a very, very wonderful but scary cliffhanger! Luckily for me there are two more books in this series!

My verdict? This book was a page turner that kept you on the tip of your toes with every turn of the page. You could laugh, you could love, you could be scared, you could be thrilled or even get frustrated with Shane. This book was so refreshing and absolutely great! I did have some parts where I thought this is going a little too fast but that won't change my point of view on this book: it's absolutely great!

“If only he knew how little I cared about living.” 

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