Welcome to my blog. I often think I was born with a book in my hand. I have always enjoyed reading, but more importantly, talking about books. This blog is partially about reviews, but is really a forum to talk about what I'm reading, and express all of the thoughts and feelings that there simply isn't room for in a professional review. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on your favourite books as you follow my reading journey.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Every You, Every Me: An Enthralling Photographic Mystery

Evan, a tormented teen, starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs- some of which feature him. Someone is messing with him- threatening him- but Evan has no idea who it could be. Worse, ever since Ariel's been gone, he's barely slept, and spends every night torturing himself for his role in her absence. As crazy as it seems, Evan starts to believe that it's Ariel punishing him. The more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia intensify, and the more he starts to unravel. Told with black-and-white photographs insterted between the pages, this is a one-of-a-kind departure for a one-of-a-kind author.

As often happens, I've had this book sitting on my shelf for quite some time, and as I've been selling it this season, my curiosity grew until I couldn't wait anymore to read it.

This is such a unique and intense mystery, and I was completely hooked from the first page. Where Ariel is, and what actually happened to her is a deliciously slow reveal. At the start of the novel, we know that Ariel is gone, and that Evan blames himself. Is she dead? Has she run-away? Does anybody know where she is? Will she/could she come back? These are all questions that were running through my head throughout the novel.

I also loved the way the photographs are interspersed with the text, allowing readers to see exactly what Evan is seeing. When you look at the photographs, you truly understand the phrase "a picture's worth a thousand words".  Each photograph reveals a piece of the puzzle, and builds tension until the shocking ending.

The writing style is also unique. Told in Evan's voice, the prose takes the form of a letter to Ariel that clearly will never be sent. While the strikethroughs have frustrated some readers, I found them extremely intriguing and effective. The crossed-out lines are a story unto themselves. They are a kind of un-edited, stream-of-consciousness free-write, which made Evan's unravelling even more visible.

Due to the darkness of the story, the novel may not be the best choice for a younger reader, but for mature readers in 8th grade and high school, this is a fast-paced, highly readable mystery that will keep you guessing until the last chapter.