Shiver the Whole Night Through
by Darragh McManus
Before I start my review, it's only fair that I explain something first: I started reading this when some personal things were happening and I tried to push through the book even when worse things were happening (my grandad died last Saturday)... I just wanted to explain that, because if I'm in the wrong mood for a certain book, it will impact my overall opinion of it.Summary: After months of bullying and romantic heartbreak, seventeen-year-old Aidan Flood feels just about ready to end it all. But when he wakes up one morning to find that local beauty and town sweetheart Sláine McAuley actually has, he discovers a new sense of purpose, and becomes determined to find out what happened to her. The town is happy to put it down to suicide, but then one night Aidan gets a message, scratched in ice on his bedroom window: 'I didn't kill myself.' Who is contacting him? And if Sláine didn't end her own life... who did?
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, onto the book itself...
I wanted to love this book, I really thought I would because the summary sounded awesome, but I didn't like it much. There were parts I liked, parts I hated, and a whole lot that just bored me--all of that averaged out to the book being kind of...meh, in my opinion.
The biggest issue for me was the characters. I just - I didn't care about any of them and it's impossible for me to feel invested in the story or compelled to finish it if I don't give a damn what happens to the characters.
The main character was annoying at worst and dull at best, and the love interest could have been interesting but seeing her through the filter of his eyes just snuffed out any chance of that. I don't know if that disconnect from the characters was caused by the book itself or if it's just down to what I explained at the beginning of this review, but it made the book a struggle to get through.
The romance...it was really bland, it didn't seem like the characters loved each other at all, there was no spark. They seemed like, I dunno, siblings sometimes...like she was his older sister or something...and a lot of the time it just seemed creepy (and I don't think it was in a way that was intended, it was obvious the parts that were meant to be creepy), there wasn't really anything romantic about the two of them together at all.
The writing was good, I'll give it that (the last three pages were especially lovely), I'd be interesting in reading other books by the author based on the writing alone.
And the plot was original, but the originality didn't make me like it...I can't explain all of the things I disliked about it without giving spoilers, all I can say really was that I was bored through about 80% of the book and that other 20% wasn't good enough to make me forgive that (which was possible--there's a book on my favourites shelf right now that nearly bored me to tears but wowed me with an amazing twist and perfect ending).
I hate how negative this review is...the book wasn't awful, it just wasn't the right book for me, especially not this month (I pushed to finish it because it was a review book that I felt obligated to get through which probably wasn't my best idea).
I'll rate it 3 stars out of 5, it would be lower but I think I would've liked it more had I read it any other time. I do recommend checking it out though, if it sounds interesting to you because you'll probably have more luck with it than I did.