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Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Books For Young Children for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: August 2nd, 2016

Synopsis: Lana used to know what was real. That was before, when her life was small and quiet. Her golden stepbrother, Ben was alive. She could only dream about bonfiring with the populars. Their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell truth from lies, and Ben’s childhood stories firmly in her imagination. 

Then came after.

After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, living with nerve and mischief. But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten. Love, blood, and murder. 

After seeing the gorgeous cover and reading the synopsis, I was so excited to dive into The Telling but it wound up being a mixed bag for me. It’s told in the first person by Lana who’s such a bland character, that for the most part I just couldn’t connect with her. For the majority of the book it was as though she had a “kick me” sign plastered to her back. The secondary characters are your stereotypical types found in the majority of YA books: mean girls, jocks, etc. There’s really nothing that’s memorable about any of them except that none of them are particularly likable. Out of all of them, Ben is the most intriguing as his backstory is told through Lana’s memories. What saves this story is the actual mystery. Even though I suspected who the true villain was from early on, the journey getting there was full of thrills and chills right up until the end. While this wasn’t a perfect read for me personally, I can definitely see it appealing to teens. It kept my attention enough that I would definitely try another book by Sirowy.