Cover Image: Splinter

Splinter

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Member Reviews

I thought this book did well to emphasize the importance of family in dire circumstances.  It was a well-paced mysterious thriller I know my teens will enjoy.
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Excellent mystery title with a well written female protagonist.  Fast paced and keeps you guessing.
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This attempts to be a character driven mystery but doesn't ever fully realize either element. The protagonist has decent depth I suppose but has no real elements that stand out, no significant flaw that prevents her from realizing her goal. And the remaining characters, even the sister, have little to no depth. The mystery isn't particularly well plotted either. There is plenty of complication just not a lot of evidence. Plenty of suspects but nothing that pointed strongly in any direction.
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In Sahsa Dawn's young adult mystery Samantha is searching for her mother. Over the years she has received postcards from whatever new place her mother has been with the numbers 7 and 11, her mother's favorite numbers. But why hasn't she come back for Sami like she promised? The police believe Sami's mother would have never left without taking Sami with her, but Sami hopes that is the case because, if not, there's only one other option.

Readers fall into Sami's story as the detective in charge of finding her mom reveals that there have been new developments to the case. They're making new connections that trace back to Sami's dad and his most recent wife Heather. The plot starts out strong: engaging readers and building up to what you might expect to be a complex mystery. Unfortunately, the story doesn't unfold in layers, but rather runs around in circles until the author finally decides to reveal what happened to Sami's mom. When the moment arrives to put the puzzle pieces together it doesn't add up to a strong finish. Where mysteries are usually webs of people, places, and actions connecting throughout the plot, Splinter proves to be more one-dimensional. For instance, a few characters are talked about, who could be key to cracking the case, but never fully brought into the picture. They remain in the peripheral instead of being brought into the thick of things for readers to analyze and flag as potential suspects. It's very emotionally driven as it focuses on Sami keeping up with her personal relationships in the heat of a scandalous case.

I loved the concept and would have loved it even more if Sami took on a more amateur sleuth role. Her role in the story was very passive. She asks questions and stumbles upon clues that she doesn't realize are clues until someone points it out. If you're looking for a traditional mystery, Splinter isn't it. However, if you want a young adult contemporary novel with elements of suspense you've hit the jackpot.
*eARC provided in exchange for an honest review*
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As a thriller, I thought the story is predictable and over-descriptive. This disrupted the flow of the storyline and build-up to the climax.
Sami has an incredible, and totally unrealistic, memory of her first six years. This fact kept nagging at the back of my mind spoiling my enjoyment of the book.
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I was drawn to this book by the book cover. From the book cover I thought that this story was going to be dark and suspenseful. This may still be the case but I did not stick around long enough to find out. I got about a third of the way into the story and could not continue. The conversations between Sami and the detective with the repeating back and forth or between Sami and her father were painful. I had no faith in the detective solving the case without Sami's help. It was like he was just waiting for Sami to feed him all of the information she found. Example is when Sami and the detective were talking about why he did not find a piece of evidence and it was suggested that it may have been because it was put there after the search was completed. 

From the little that I knew about Sami's father, he was not the friendliest. You would think for someone that wanted to prove they were innocent that they would be more helpful and talkative. The investigation that Sami was conducting was slow. If some of the things that I mentioned had been present, especially the suspense than I probably would have continued reading this book.
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Enjoyed the mystery theme. My Ya readers will love this book, because they love mysteries.
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As a family drama, SPLINTER really brought something to the table, which is the only reason its thriller succeeds the way that it does. If the family dynamics hadn’t been so well established, this thriller would have come off as maudlin, ridiculous, or, worse, wholly predictable. Were there some things that I had guessed? Sure, but I will give that the book certainly gave you plenty of red herrings to fall for, and they’re executed well.

On the whole, a solid thriller. I didn't love it, but I don't think it's worth discounting either.
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