Sunday, October 23, 2011

Book Review - Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon

Title: Don't Breathe a Word 
Author: Jennifer McMahon 
Year: 2011
Page: 447
Genre: Fiction - Murder / Mystery / Thriller / Suspense

FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from

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.

Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in love with Sam, a practical, sensible man who doesn’t fear the dark and doesn’t have bad dreams—who, in fact, helps Phoebe ignore her own. But suddenly the couple is faced with a series of eerie, unexplained occurrences that challenge Sam’s hardheaded, realistic view of the world. As they question their reality, a terrible promise Sam made years ago is revealed—a promise that could destroy them all.

First Sentence:
If you are holding this book in your hands, you are one of the chosen.

My Thoughts:

  • I read the author's other book, Dismantled: A Novel, and liked it fine (see review here). When I read about this new book from goodreads' newsletter, it sounded creepy enough that I wanted to give it a try! Isn't the cover haunting? 
  • The story started out creepy as promised, and definitely kept you guessing until the almost the very end... then the ending, particular the last page, just confused the heck out of me that I still wasn't quite sure what happened? Maybe I am too linear that I don't like ambiguous ending. Such ending just does not provide enough closure for me.
  • At 447 pages, this book probably was 100-150 pages too long. The story could have been faster-paced. 
  • While I couldn't guess the minute details, I was able to guess the overall direction of the book. So when the twist was revealed, it lacked impact.
  • [Spoiler] Also, they made it sounded like the name Elton was an important twist, but it was never explained? [/Spoiler]
  • Overall, just an okay read... could have been better.

Didn't everyone want that? Have a secret longing to be more special than the guy next door? Didn't everyone secretly wish there was another world you could find a doorway to, step inside, and become a queen? (p400)

Overall Rating:

2.5 Stars. Could have been shorter. The ending could have been better.

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  1. I have one of her books, Promise to Tell I think. I couldn't get into it, think it was my mood and haven't picked it back up.

    I want to try her, they all sound 'good'.

    I hate when you figure out the part that give the biggest impact.

  2. @Marce - I agree that the premise of her books all sound good, and all covers look creepy with a haunting child! I think it's definitely an art on how to deliver the twist/climax of the book.