Jaime Lee Moyer
Despite the intriguing plot and gruesome murders, as well as suspense that coated many of the pages, Delia’s Shadow was by no means perfect. Jaime Lee Moyer has written a fairly decent mystery novel, for sure, but there were some things that brought down the book and could’ve definitely been improved.
Unfortunately, the writing was one of the major things that ruined Delia’s Shadow. It wasn’t horrible, exactly, but I didn’t like Moyer’s telling instead of showing style, because it broke up what could’ve been smooth-flowing descriptions into something boring and monotonous. I also noticed that the author seemed to like starting sentences with “that,” which again broke up the writing into choppy sentences.
In terms of characters, is it too picky of me to say that they were too average? I liked most of them enough to make the reading experience enjoyable, but Delia, Gabe, Sadie — the whole lot of them — were a little too flat for me to fully connect with them, as much as I wanted to. Even Delia, who had the special ability to see ghosts and spirits, failed to catch my interest much. And if I was being entirely honest, if one of them (or all of them, for that matter) died by the hands of the killer, I wouldn’t care much.
There’s no denying that the plot is suspenseful, though. Though I wish Moyer had managed to elicit more of an emotional response for me, I did enjoy the mystery the book revolved around. But I had a bit of an issue with the ending: the excuse the killer gave for killing — if it can even be counted as that — was flimsy and totally unbelievable. I wanted to have more insight into what happened during his childhood, and what made him become like this, but in the end, while everyone else in the book was satisfied, I sat there alone, bemused.
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This book was so much better than I expected! After seeing a few negative reviews, I went in with muted expectations, prepared for the worst, and while Romily Bernard’s debut was nothing awe-inducing or spectacular, I found Find Me to be a quick and easy thriller/suspense novel that I had a fun time reading.
A lot of the reviews had issues with the predictability, which, I must say is quite an issue in the book. While I didn’t become aware of the antagonist as early some of the readers did, it was painfully obvious after a while — and I think the author made the mistake of implanting the seeds of suspicion in the readers’ minds herself — which made the story lose some of its charm. But Bernard makes up a little for that slip-up with the snarky, troubled, but still funny protagonist that is Wicket Tate.
Wicket was a fairly likable character, though I did find her and the rest of the cast to be a little unmemorable at times. Admittedly, there’s nothing that sets her apart from other heroines — she’s heroic, protective of the ones she loves most, and is also bearing the usual burden no teenager should have to bear — and I don’t expect to remember much about her or the story a month later (we’ll see), but while you’re reading the book, she satisfies as the main character well enough. But apart from her, the rest of the characters were oddly… absent. Even though they were mentioned in the book throughout, it seemed as though the story only revolved around Wicket and Griff. (And occasionally Lily.) I would’ve appreciated more characterization and presence from the rest.
I don’t know if this is a “me” thing, too, but the plot was a little too shallow for me to feel the full impact of it. The story is suspenseful sometimes, yes, but the other subplots, and even the main one, didn’t feel very important. I didn’t get the sense of urgency or despair I would’ve liked to have felt while reading this, and I can tell you that my facial expression throughout the entire book stayed the same:
Overall, though, Find Me wasn’t a bad book. But much like Delia’s Shadow, I found the antagonist’s reason for doing what he did a little unreasonable and unsatisfying. But all those issues aside, I still had a pretty fun time reading this, and I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more from Romily Bernard.