Half Moon Bay by Alice Laplante

I received this novel as an advance copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I read this premise and immediately thought “This book is the one for me”. I was so excited for this book … and then I read it. And I didn’t like it. Here’s why:

36495890Summary (Goodreads):Β Jane loses everything when her teenage daughter is killed in a senseless accident. Jane is devastated, but sometime later, she makes one tiny stab at a new life: she moves from San Francisco to the tiny seaside town of Half Moon Bay. She is inconsolable, and yet, as the months go by, she is able to cobble together some version of a job, of friends, of the possibility of peace.

And then, children begin to disappear. And soon, Jane sees her own pain reflected in all the parents in the town. She wonders if she will be able to live through the aching loss, the fear all around her. But as the disappearances continue, she begins to see that what her neighbors are wondering is if it is Jane herself who has unleashed the horror of loss.


Review:Β There were two issues for me with this book: 1) Jane’s character; and 2) the writing style.

Jane is a mother who is shrouded in grief, for obvious reasons. While I could empathize with Jane, I wasn’t able to connect with her or like her. I think this may have been because of the other personality traits the author tried to attribute to her, namely her ability to be easily manipulated. Personally, I prefer characters who have a bit more of a backbone to them, and the fact that Jane’s malleable character leads to so many future problems for her just annoyed me. This may not seem like a huge problem for a lot of readers, but it was a big reason why I couldn’t enjoy this book.

I also didn’t like the writing style. It just felt like I was in Jane’s head the entire time, following her stream of consciousness. And I didn’t really like it, especially since Jane has a very … foggy mind. I felt disoriented and since her thoughts constantly strayed to various different areas, it was hard for me to stay focused and keep up with the actual story line. This definitely hampered my reading experience and made this less enjoyable.

I think that the story here was interesting. However, I didn’t like the main character and I didn’t like the writing style, which meant that I couldn’t enjoy the book. It almost made the DNF pile – except I’ve been trying really hard to not DNF any books this year. For those reasons, I’m giving it a 1/5 stars.

Happy reading ~

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