Monday, October 15, 2012

Stitch by Samantha Durante

Title: Stitch
Series: Stitch
Author: Samantha Durante
Length: 4135 Kindle units
Rating: 4 stars

The Plot

Alessa feels alone at college, unable to connect with most of the people after the accident that killed her parents. But she does feel a connection to one person – the ghost in old-fashioned clothes that she sees occasionally around her house. She becomes obsessed with finding out more about him – who he is, when he lived there, and how he died. But as she gets closer to learning the truth about Isaac, the more she discovers that the world she thinks she belongs in is not her own.

The Good

Stitch was a very well written and/or well-edited novel. Based on the writing quality, I never would have guessed that this was an indie novel. The character of Alessa was very likable an sympathetic throughout the novel, both when she is at college recovering from the loss of her parents and… later, when other things are happening. And despite the fact that there are three interwoven realities in the novel  - Alessa’s, Isaac’s, and the real one – I never got confused about which reality we were in and what was going on, which really was an achievement.

The Bad

Writing-wise, the only problem I had with Stitch was that the author would occasionally go on long descriptive passages about things like what Alessa was wearing to the party and how she decided. At several points I was like, “Okay, let’s get the story moving along.”

The bigger issue with Stitch is that the first half of the book has one plot, and I started reading through fairly typical YA paranormal romance and was okay with it. Then suddenly I got railroaded into a totally different plot in a dystopic world, and nothing I’d read to this point was real. This was hinted at in the description, so I wasn’t totally shocked. But, really, who likes to invest a couple of hours reading a novel only to be told that the first half was completely irrelevant? Both versions of the story were fine, but I had a hard time accepting them both in one book.

The Romance

Alessa begins seeing what she thinks the ghost of Isaac in her sorority house. He appears only for a minute at a time and doesn’t seem to see her, but she feels a connection to him anyway. She begins researching the house, trying to figure out who he could be, and eventually finds out that he died in a barn fire in 1917. She thus becomes obsessed with finding a way to communicate with him to save his life. But then she discovers that nothing about her world is what it seems, including her relationship with Isaac. And… if I told you more, it would be spoilers, so you shall just have to read it to find out whether Alessa and Isaac achieve happily ever after. And probably the two books after that, since it’s a trilogy.

Will I read more?

Stitch was pretty good and did both dystopian and YA paranormal romances well. The problem is, for me at least, is that I think the other two books in the trilogy are going to be largely dystopian, and I’m not a huge fan of the genre. Yes, it is a sad fact that I prefer romantic stories about ghosts and time travel to stories about oppressive government regimes who torment the people under their care. I know, crazy isn’t it? But if you like dystopian stuff, I recommend picking it up.

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