Cover Image: Hunting Annabelle

Hunting Annabelle

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

First, my apologies for the super backlist review. 

Hunting Annabelle almost immediately had me hooked; I loved that we had this narrator that seemed a bit off, having this, again, "off" interaction with this seemingly random girl. As the story went on, and Sean was trying to uncover the mystery of Annabelle's disappearance, again, I was invested.

{Spoiler ahead!} However, when, we got to the ending and the conclusion - I could have done without the romance at the end; it didn't seem like a natural fit at all. In fact, I had to go back a few pages to figure out what I had missed to lead to this odd conclusion. I enjoyed the twist of Annabelle being behind everything - but to go from the scene with Sean's mother and at Four Corners, to this twisted and co-dependent relationship was just so odd and felt rather abrupt. 

Finally, I just didn't feel good about the way those with mental health concerns were demonized, and how is mental health issues were used against Sean, to make him question himself and to turn readers against him at times. 

Great story, voice, writing style, and idea, but, for me, the execution just wasn't my favorite.
Was this review helpful?
Stellar! A recommended first purchase for all general fiction collections, particularly where thrillers are popular.
Was this review helpful?
Unfortunately, this author's writing just is not a fit for me. This is the second of her books I have read and have not been able to connect with.
Was this review helpful?
I loved reading a good thriller now and then and this book seemed to be right up my alley. The book starts of really well and I thought the author's style of writing was also very strong! The plot is also unique and different and I was wondering how it was going to turn out. Having said that, I felt like mid-way into the book, the story started to drag. Also, I felt like once it is revealed as to where Annabelle disappeared to, it was just so unbelievable, I was rolling my eyes and thought it was too far-fetched. That kind of ruined the story for me. But overall, it was a strange and interesting read for the most part.
Was this review helpful?
Well I put this book off for far too long.... I'm not exactly sure why. I guess because I was worried it might be too brutal for me. If you are looking for a twisty suspenseful book I'm your girl, but if you are looking for brutal and disturbing you better ask someone else for a review. It wasn't near as disturbing as I thought it would be. For about 65% of the book I really liked it. It was a bit predictable and I somewhat knew the ending pretty earlier on. I didn't love the ending though. So for me 3 stars is as high as I could go because of a few reasons. The first is the I don't have a character to root for... I didn't love any of them. I have to find that connection to a character to fall in love with a book. The second reason was I didn't like the ending. Too Fu@#$%g weird. No way is that ever going to happen. The writing was good and kept my interest so if I see another book by Heard I definitely will give it a try.
Was this review helpful?
I started this book and just couldn’t get into it. I’m marking it down as a DNF for me and am only submitting a two star rating as one is required for netgalley reviews.
Was this review helpful?
I LOVED this book. Love love love. I was so looking forward to this one, and it lived up to my expectations. I’ve recommended this one to my friends that love this genre.
Was this review helpful?
I think the idea of this story is more interesting than the story itself. The interesting idea quickly wore off and I found myself looking for something else to read about halfway through. Unfortunately, this just didn't do it for me.
Was this review helpful?
this novel will torture you until the last page! there were times I wanted to rip to the last page just to see how it ended and yet I had to talk myself into slowing down. This is a must read!
Was this review helpful?
I hate writing this type of "reviews" but I  couldn't really get into this book unfortunately so I won't be providing any feedback.
Was this review helpful?
I will no longer be providing feedback for Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard as I just could not get into this book. I feel like this story wasn't quite for me even though it started with a promising outlook. I ended up DNF at just before 50% of the way through.
Was this review helpful?
I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley. This book had me from the very beginning. I love that it kept me engaged the entire time. I couldn't wait to see how it ended. I would highly recommend to all my fellow readers. Thank you for the chance to review this book!
Was this review helpful?
A very on the edge of your seat type book! Such an intriguing plot. I enjoyed this author’s writing style. A dark, creepy psychological thriller about a man who spent 3 years in a psychiatric prison after being convicted of a grisly murder. There were times when my jaw would drop open.
Was this review helpful?
So, I got a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I received this through NetGalley as well. 🙂 I know this review is long overdue and I’m so sorry I’m so behind on all my NetGalley reviews but that’s life. Let’s talk about this book now. Oh, this is a spoiler-free review!

First I wanna say that this book is so different from the other thrillers I’ve read. I really liked how different this book was and just how strange the characters were as well. I’ve never read something like this and it really did help me stay interested. It’s what got me interested and kept me interested.

I know my rating seems really low because I did really enjoy this book and I don’t actually have a lot of “negative” things to say about it. However, this just wasn’t a five star read for me and I think the ending is something that bothered me a lot.

The ending just confused me a lot if I’m honest. It also kind of made me dislike Sean. Like before Sean was kind of weird which was also intriguing. It left the reader wondering and wanting to learn more about Sean, but the end just left me confused. However, I will say that the author didn’t do a bad job leading up to the end or anything. She did a very good job setting Sean up for the ending to work out….if that makes sense? I just didn’t really like the ending…but I guess that’s kind of my own fault.

“You just like saying that because it makes me look weak, and you want to control me. That makes you weak, not me.”

There were a few things I didn’t understand about the ending but it wasn’t a bad ending…I just wish maybe a little more was explained or maybe it was done a little differently. It wasn’t bad though by any means! It was a very interesting way to end the book.

My biggest thing that made me not like the book is that it makes Texans look kinda bad and as a proud Texan I didn’t like that. I may just be biased but yeah I felt like some of the things were to make Texans seem like hicks, seem rude, racists’, etc. and that’s not how Texans are…however I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt because of the time period she set the book in. I just don’t like hearing negative things about Texas…which if you know anything about Texans…we’re a proud bunch! ❤ ❤ Haha I know y’all think it’s a dumb reason to like a book less but oh well.

“The colors I see don’t work like a mood ring, not exactly. Blue isn’t sadness, yellow isn’t happiness, and pink isn’t longing. It’s nowhere near that literal. Rather, colors seem to indicate what people do to the world and how they affect the people around them.”

Now, I really liked how different Sean was from any other characters I’ve encountered in a thriller/contemporary. The author did an awesome job writing about him and describing him, in my opinion. I found Sean to be a very interesting character and I liked that he was kinda weird haha. It kept things interesting. I also found his mom to be really interesting as well and how she thinks. Oh, if you’re about that whole uhhhhhh what’s the word…….diverse! So, I guess some people might consider this book diverse because it has a Korean main character who suffers from mental illness. I don’t really think about that stuff when I’m reading, to be honest.

I know this review isn’t the best and it’s a little all over the place so I do apologize. I liked this book and I would recommend it to anyone that likes a good thriller. The author does a good job with description and she made the story flow really well and it kept my interest. The author did a good job coming up with something pretty original, in my opinion. 🙂 If you like dark books then I would recommend this one as well. 🙂
Was this review helpful?
Set in 1980s Texas, Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard is an unusual, menacing sort of novel that follows a young man (Sean) who lives under a haze of medication controlling his schizophrenia. Annabelle, his love interest, was abducted right front of his eyes….but nobody believes him. We know from the start that Sean has a dark, potentially murderous past so he’s an unreliable narrator from all angles. As he tries to determine Annabelle’s whereabouts, the reader is left as disoriented as the narrator. Did Sean hallucinate Annabelle entirely? Did he harm her himself? This book is far-fetched and chocked too full of twists, but readers who enjoy getting inside the heads of complex, unstable characters (think You by Caroline Kepnes) may enjoy this.
Was this review helpful?
After reading many recent thriller and mystery type books in the past several years, I realize how formulaic and generic parts of the story and writing can be.  This, however, surprised me, especially the ending.  While there were still some formulaic and generic plot points and how things ultimately played out, I genuinely didn't completely see the ending coming.  I was able to figure out who the culprit was, but the twist afterwards was crazy in a good way.

As someone who grew up in a small North Texas town, outside of Dallas, I appreciated the nuance and descriptiveness given.  I really was able to picture everything described in my head and I enjoyed that.  I also thoroughly enjoyed the descriptive nature of Sean's mental illness and being able to peer into his mind and get his thoughts on everything as well.

My only real issue here is with the ending.  I wish that it would have been more thoroughly fleshed out and given a few more answers to lingering questions.  Overall, good debut novel and interested to see what Wendy Heard puts out next.

Full Disclosure: I received an ARC Kindle copy of Hunting Annabelle through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Hunting Annabelle follows the story of a young man named Sean. Sean lives at home with his mother, and spends his days drawing pictures of people as he watches them in a nearby park. He used to kill people but after spending 3 years in a psychiatric prison, and being on medication, he tries his best to ignore the temptation. one day while people watching in the park he meets a young woman named Annabelle. They begin talking and hit it off as friends. Sean really seems to like this girl, and she even seems to see past the monster that is Sean and enjoys his company and friendship. They begin to hang around together more and more, and seem to become inseparable.

One day while they are together Annabelle suddenly disappears and Sean is heartbroken. He will do everything he can to find the person who took her and to bring her back to safety. However, everyone suspects him due to his past of killing people. He tries to convince everyone, including the police and his mother, that he had nothing to do with her disappearance. Who took Annabelle and why?

This book was an interesting read with a good plot and storyline, but I found the middle part of the book to drag on a bit. The story picks up a bit again near the end, with a few twists I didn’t see coming, which made the ending quite enjoyable for me.

Thanks for reading my review and I hope you enjoy the book.
Was this review helpful?
Wow...this book is creepy, fast-paced, and has a very unexpected and crazy ending. I'm not sure how I feel about the ending.  I "liked" Sean, the main character, as much as one can like a murderer, but whether or not I like Annabelle is questionable, and Sean's mother was definitely not a likeable character. I never saw the ending coming which I always have a hard time with.  I don't like surprises.
Was this review helpful?
Sean meets Annabelle at 4 Corners, a leisure park which he goes to daily to draw the tourists. Sean is instantly attracted to Annabelle and she is attracted to Sean’s quirkiness. When Annabelle is kidnapped on their first date, he goes of on a mission to find her. The police at first don’t believe him and then he soon becomes their chief suspect. His mother thinks he had an hallucination and imagened it all!!
Was this review helpful?
Wow! This book is creepy! It focuses around a man in his 20s who has schizophrenia. Where a lot of books has a positive focus on mental illness, this doesn’t. He is violent and he tries to stop because he doesn’t want to go back to the hospital. A girl he is on a date with is abducted and nobody believes him. Everyone thinks he did something to her or he just made it all up. You go the whole book not sure what happened. The ending I did NOT expect. Not sure what I think about that. Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to review this.
Was this review helpful?