When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . . Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself. He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost. He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable. Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present. Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.
Release date: June 11th 2013 Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin Order: Amazon
Wow... just wow. I was literally blown away by Charm and Strange. It held secrets so deep that there was no turning back once I started. I knew once the flashbacks started. I knew and I just couldn't put it down despite the ever growing presence of something sinister and so unimaginable lurking around the corner. I read this book in about three hours and stayed up til 1 am just to finish it even with class the next day. That is how intrigued I was by this book.
I think that halfway through the novel I realized what was going on, but like the main character I also couldn't accept, nor did I want to accept, the facts that were laid out right there in front of my face. I hoped and wished that I was just over analyzing the story and what I thought was happening, was not truly happening. I just wasn't sure that I could comprehend such horror, and the fact that I was voluntarily reading it.
I never intentionally read or watch anything sad, ever. I believe that there is too much sad in this world already and if I want an escape, it should not be a somber one. This book is the exception to the rule. I found myself switching from so many emotions throughout reading this novel. Many of which included horror, denial, remorse, happiness, intrigue, sickness, and terrible sadness. The ending really got to me. Although I knew what was coming, I still denied it right up until the very end. I ended up bawling a good ten minutes after reading the last page. I truly wished that this novel really was as paranormal as the summary made it out to be, but I am also very happy that the summary is the way it is. Otherwise, I probably never would have read this book and that would have been a very bad mistake indeed. This is a story that needs to be told. It yearns to be told, and you need to listen. Take a chance with this one.
This is just a menagerie of songs that I feel fit the book. They aren't in order.
You're Not Alone- Saosin
The Kill- 30 Seconds to Mars
Dirty Little Secret- All American Rejects
Secrets- One Republic
Siren Song- Bat For Lashes
Pardon Me- Incubus
I'm Sorry- Flyleaf
Stephanie Kuehn is a YA writer who grew up in Berkeley, California, which is a quirky sort of a place with a ton of wonderful bookstores. Her very first job was working in one of those bookstores, and she's been a freakishly avid reader for as long as she can remember.
Stephanie's other passions include mental health advocacy, social justice, and sports of all kinds. She's currently living in Northern California with her family and their wild menagerie of pets.