Actual Rating: 3.5
Please take a moment to read the summary again and take a good look at the cover. I’m sure that by now you have vague ideas of what the book is about. Something that involves lots of scariness and creepiness and staying up all night? Nope, sorry.
THE MURMURINGS’ summary isn’t exactly truthful. It promises the reader a world of paranormal creepiness. Instead, the book turned out to be more of a mild psychological horror, or more appropriately a psychological thriller. There aren’t any paranormal or real horror aspects to the book till the last 100 to 150 pages. Instead, West spends her time building up the story and the atmosphere. This may not appeal to some people but personally, I really liked this.
Sophie, the main character, spends much of the book trying to figure out what exactly happened to her sister and why did she end up dead in an entirely different city – especially since she was “locked away”. The book progresses very slowly here but I never felt like I wanted to drop the book.
In the second half of the book, everything changes. Here enters the evil doctors, mental institutions, torture chambers, death, and gore. This part is the main reason I loved the book to be honest. While I enjoyed the beginning parts and Sophie’s struggle with insanity or what she perceived was insanity, I do agree with most people by saying that the second part of the book was the main strength.
THE MURMURINGS avoided many of the standard clichés in YA literature. There was a cute romance that didn’t overshadow the plot. It was treated as more of a side plot then the main objective of the story. Sophie’s inner turmoil didn’t consist of “omg, who do I love?”. No, instead it ran more along the lines of “am I fucking insane or what?”
Though I found THE MURMURINGS to be a pretty awesome book, I was very disappointed by the ending. I hate easy endings. The ending wasn’t in itself easy but the last chapter ruined the whole ending for me. I expect that when someone walks out of such a traumatic experience to have some scarring but from what it sounded like, everything was hunky-dory is happy land.
Aside from a few problems with lying blurbs and terrible endings, I surprisingly really liked this book. While it’s definitely not my favorite, it was enjoyable and exciting, with just the right amount of scariness for the book. I recommend THE MURMURINGS someone who is looking to spruce up a boring afternoon.