Tag Archives: Carly Anne West

The Murmurings – Carly Anne West

The Murmurings – Carly Anne WestTitle: The Murmurings by Carly Ann West
Publishing Info: March 5, 2013 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 17, 2013

    Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.
As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not…

bookreview1I’m not usually one for creepy-type books because let’s face it. I’m a scaredy cat and I’m willing to admit it! THE MURMURINGS, however, seemed really interesting and I was willing to be a little creeped out in a good way. It seemed like part paranormal, part psychological thriller and I was definitely interested in getting my hands on it! After reading though… I was pretty disappointed. I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews for THE MURMURINGS and now I understand why. I think some people will find the concept delightfully creepy, but others (like me) will feel like although it was an interesting idea, the pacing and the follow-through of the concept fall flat as well as some characters that I didn’t feel were developed enough.

I was less than a quarter of the way through the book when already I felt like too many plot points had just been given to the audience instead of being drawn out and suspenseful. Then things I didn’t think needed to be drawn out went on for several chapters. I felt like Nell’s diary entries really slowed down the pacing of the book instead of adding extra mystery and bringing some of her personality to the book. Even with horrifying scenes that involve SEEING THINGS IN MIRRORS THAT AREN’T THERE (WTF… My worst nightmare come true), I actually didn’t find myself being creeped out and I totally should have. Too many aspects of the ghostly happenings (mostly the way Nell died) seemed too unrealistic to me. In order to scare me like it should have, I should have felt like this was real and any of it could happen to me. I felt like it was juuust outside of believable and unfortunately it kind of killed the whole feel of the book for me.

I never connected with the characters in the book either. Sophie was okay but her personality didn’t really stand out to me. The only times she really caught my attention was when she was being sarcastic and I was amused by her snark, but other than that, she was a little flat for me. I also felt like her character wasn’t consistent and her actions were contradictory, and not in a growing & changing way. She jumped back and forth between being fearless and being fearful, compliant and obstinate, skeptical and trusting – It didn’t really seem to create a clear picture of who she was. I wasn’t a fan of the secondary characters either. I was very skeptical of Evan the whole time and at the VERY beginning he seemed so unreal that I almost thought he was a manifestation of Sophie’s schizophrenia. (I guess that was my almost Psych minor wanting to see something that wasn’t there, ironically enough…)

I guess I could say THE MURMURINGS wasn’t a “bad” book, but it was really just not the book for me. I didn’t make an emotional connection with it and I didn’t make any connection with the characters either. The plot was interesting, but never quite made it past an exciting idea for me as a reader. I was just bummed!


Sophie: Sophie felt rather undeveloped – or better yet, she felt too scattered. I think there were a lot of things that Sophie was supposed to be, but it was too many ideas trying to come together in one character and it created a bit of confusion for me as a reader. Her actions seemed to fit what the scene wanted them to be rather than letting her character guide her own decisions. She just didn’t seem real to me.
Evan: Why do they always have to be football players? I get so frustrated how many of the love interests have to be football players and it was totally an unnecessary element of this book. Sigh. Anyway… I was always a little skeptical of him being a legit friend/love interest for Sophie, but I guess I was just making it up in my head!
All of the other characters: I wished the secondary characters were more developed. I think that could have added so much depth to the story. I felt like everyone else was just kind of there because they needed to be there for the plot instead of really adding something interesting to the story/having their own story to tell.

addiction_factor1Skip it.

Meh. Pass. It was kind of hard for me to get through so I won’t really be recommending it to anyone else!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE THE MURMURINGS

     Ten - Gretchen McNeil      Shadowlands

The Selective Collective talking about… THE MURMURINGS

The Selective Collective reads THE MURMURINGS by CARLY ANNE WEST

The Selective Collective features THE MURMURINGS by CARLY ANNE WEST, provided to us by Simon Pulse for review and book club discussion. For my part in this Selective Collective post, I’m hosting all of the ladies from The Selective Collective for a few book club-type questions for what we like to call “Round Table”!

Before we jump in, here’s a little info on the book:

The MurmuringsPublishing Info: March 5th 2013 by Simon Pulse
Source: ARC provided by Simon Pulse for review and use for the Selective Collective promotions

Book Synopsis: Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.
As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not…. — From Goodreads.com


One really interesting aspect about The Murmurings is that the characters themselves can’t always distinguish if the murmurings and the visions are real or if they cross the line into a psychological manifestation. Was there ever a time in the book where you doubted the characters’ sanity? (Sophie? Nell? Adam?) How did it affect the story for you?
[Kristina – Gone Pecan] I think because of how the book starts I never doubted what Sophie was seeing or what Nell saw wasn’t real so when reading I assumed they were correct and  believed them.  As far as Adam I felt I couldn’t trust him completely since he was so withdrawn.  I found after reading the parts with him in them I had more questions then answers.
[Brittany – The Book Addict’s Guide] I have no idea why, but for some reason I was really convinced that everyone in this book was a little nuts haha. Maybe I was starting to lose it a little bit (just like I had suspected with the characters), creating plot lines that weren’t there! It actually made the story a little more interesting though because although completely manifested in my mind, I had that extra bit of suspense not knowing what was real and what wasn’t.

Even though Nell had already died before the book begins, we get to see a lot of her through the diary that was left behind for Sophie. How do you think her presence through the diary affected your take on the story?
[Brittany – The Book Addict’s Guide] It was definitely interesting getting to know Nell only through her diary entries! Even though we didn’t actually “meet” her in the book, I still feel like we got to know a lot about her personality and in a way, I felt like I knew her just as well as I knew Sophie! I liked that even though she was already gone, the memories and info that she leaves behind is still helping her little sister. I actually liked Nell’s character a lot and I wished I would have been able to see more of her.

How did you feel about Evan as the love interest in The Murmurings? Did you like the developing relationship between him & Sophie? Were you ever doubtful of his motives for getting to know her?
[Kristina – Gone Pecan] I liked Evan as a whole but I would have liked to have seen his thought process (maybe by part of the book being in his POV?)  as to why he was interested in Sophie.  What about her drew him in?  Reading the book as is there seems to be  an instant relationship without the build up and I would have liked a bit more on that end for the it to be completely believable.

Along with dipping  into the paranormal, some of The Murmurings is straight up horror. I  mean…. SEEING THINGS IN MIRRORS. One of my nightmares come true. Did any of the book affect you even after you put it down? (Mirrors freaked  me out for a little while after that. Thanks a lot.)
[Tee – YA Crush] Funny story: I was actually reading this book in the bathtub late at night (in my children’s bathroom surrounded by octopus towels and water-logged Barbies so as not to wake up my sleeping husband), when a particularly creepy thing happened in the story. I put it down, climbed out and was drying off, running through the scene in my head when it occurred to me that with the exception of the shower, the entire wall in front of me was a gigantic mirror. There was that rational, sane side of me that laughed about it, but honestly, there was also that mildly freaked out, over-tired part of me that started to get a little weirded out. I couldn’t get the images from the book out of my head. Needless to say, I rushed out of that bathroom as fast as possible (to a pitch-dark hallway! Eeeks!) and since that moment I have these minor funny/creepy twinges about what’s lurking behind me in the mirror (even the rearview mirror in the car). I think the author touched something that I didn’t realize was a fear of mine (or helped to create a new one!).
[Sandie – Teen Lit Rocks] I wasn’t freaked out about mirrors after reading the book, but I definitely think books, like movies, have the power to affect what I consider scary or creepy. What DID freak me out more than the creatures was the idea of my sister being killed and found in such an unnatural pose. That definitely unnerved me, since I’m so close to my sister, and so many other people in our lives have died — but none in a violent manner.
[Candice – The Grown-Up YA] Mirrors, and seeing things in them, used to freak me out as a kid!
Even now, mirrors in dark rooms still give me the shivers. I don’t know if it really scared me, but Nell’s journal really stayed with me. Finding out things after someone dies is hard enough, but finding out what they were struggling with or fearful of really seemed to hit home for me. I sometimes wonder what people will discover after I die, what thoughts or fears I might leave behind, and how it will affect those that find it. Not to be morbid or anything. Just saying.

Have you read the book? What do you guys think? We want to hear from you on these questions too!

Hope you had fun talking about THE MURMURINGS with us!!! And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of THE MURMURINGS so please go visit their take on the book as well!

Tee @ YA Crush  Casting Call: The Murmurings
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  Q&A with Carly Ann West & giveaway!
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  Ghosts All Around Us
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  Review: The Murmurings