TITLE: The Moment Collector
AUTHOR: Jodi Lynn Anderson
PUBLISHER: Orchard Books
GENRE: Mystery, Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
RATING: 3.5/5 Stars
Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter's come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I've watched the danger swell.
The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I'm the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I'm tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.
I'm tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don't know why. I think it's because death is coming for one of them, or both.
All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig. I am looking for the things that are buried.
What I Liked:
- I'll start by saying that Anderson is a good writer. She describes moments well, can put together a coherent story and I was hooked pretty much from start to finish. Certainly at the beginning of the book I was very impressed with the way the story was going and really enjoyed it!
- Something that Anderson really excelled at was characterisation. I loved Pauline, Maggie and Liam! They were well-written, fun characters to read and it was clear exactly how different they were and why they got on. When they were happy (especially Maggie) that's how I felt. Equally, when they were going through a tough time, I felt that too. It was interesting to witness the love triangle aspect of the story too (though I normally hate that trope). This one at least felt believable!
What I Disliked:
- While the first three quarters of the book impressed me a lot, I felt severely let down by the end of it. The ongoing mystery of who the Door County Killer actually is remained unresolved (much to my annoyance) and to be honest, throughout the book it didn't feel like such a big deal. Yes it created a sense of tension and atmosphere but I wouldn't say it took centre stage as the blurb described it as doing.
- As well as the lack of real mystery resolution, I want to point out that this book's blurb is actually quite misleading. It markets itself as a ghost story, but the ghostly element to it is not only a very small section of the book, it almost feels a bit pointless. Okay, there is a slight plot twist but it made the ending feel like a bit of a cop-out and furthered my disappointment. This story is a coming of age story and the other sub-plots just don't contribute enough to make it anything more.
I did really enjoy this book most of the way through. At first, I generally thought this was going to be a five star read, but in the end, I came out disappointed. The mystery and ghost story that had been marketed simply weren't there and it turned out to be a coming of age story with a good beginning and a poor ending. The emotion was there and I did feel the pain of the characters, as well as share in their happiness. I just feel like a lot fell short.