Thursday, 26 February 2015

The Moment Collector by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Description from Goodreads:

A haunting mystery, romance in the vein of The Lovely Bones by New York Times bestselling author.

"The yard of this house is a graveyard of moments and everything left behind is a clue. And I am here to dig."

There's a ghost haunting 208 Water Street. She doesn't know who she was, or why she's still here. She does know that she is drawn to Maggie, the new girl in town, and her friends - beautiful, carefree Pauline and Liam, the boy who loves her.

But the ghost isn't all that's lurking in Gill Creek... Someone is killing young girls all across the county. Can the ghost keep these three friends safe? Or does she have another purpose?

Once in a while you stumble on to a book that you start reading with an open mind, without any sort of preconceptions or expectations. And sometimes the book ends up being one the most authentic, saddest, but also the most peculiar books you've read for a long time. The Moment Collector definitely was that sort of book for me. Even though it has been promoted as mystery and a ghost story, I wouldn't exactly label it as one. Yes, there were brief moments where the readers could see what was happening to the characters, and a murderer was wandering around the city, but the focus mainly was on Maggie and her story. And I didn't mind it all, but I think people should be aware of it when starting to read the novel.

The Moment Collector isn't a happy story (remember that). It isn't exactly a scary one either, but it is so amazingly melancholic and tender to read. I find it really difficult to describe the atmosphere that surrounded the setting, but I guess one way to put it would be eerie with a hint of realism (I don't mean magical realism though). The style of writing by Anderson just contributed even further to this mood. She had a very calm and smooth way of writing, which I really enjoyed. Her writing makes me think of a transparent blanket covering everything - making you think one thing, but actually the thing being something else (sorry for being so cryptic, but it's difficult to put into words how the atmosphere made me feel). 

One of the things why ended up liking the characters in The Moment Collector is because they were so real and authentic. All Maggie, Pauline, and Liam were a bit strange in their own, good ways which made them stand out from the millions of other contemporary YA books. There were moments when I hated all of them, but also moments when I loved them equally as much. The trio was able to bring such deep emotions in me that I both laughed and cried within the 256 pages. The dynamics between Maggie, Pauline, and Liam were ever changing and it kept the readers on their toes right until the very end. And even after.

It's strange that even though there wasn't exactly that much action in the book, the book didn't feel long to read it. The pages seemed to turn by their own as I got more immersed and invested in the characters. I know that this type of book isn't for everyone, and maybe it was because of my sad mood while reading the book, but I really enjoyed the lack of action. This gave more resources for the story to focus on the relationships and personal growth of Maggie which was one of my favourite things in the book. Maggie experiences and feels so much during The Moment Collector and it's easy to identify with her right away from the very first pages. 

The Moment Collector wasn't at all what I expected it to be, which turned out to be a great turn of events - I ended up liking it more than I first thought. The melancholy and sombre mood make the book stand out from the rest of this year's books, and I really hope that people decide to pick up this book. It really was a peculiar and lovely story with a painful twist. 

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