Book Review: Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield

Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield is a young adult novel that includes a chilling mystery and coming to terms with yourself and your family. Clare Knight has a secret. she has inherited a 'gift'. She can see emotions and past actions just by touching clothes. Since she loves to re-purpose clothes, she has the opportunity to touch a lot of clothes. Clare and her mother have just returned to the town where Clare (and her mother) grew up, and are trying to find their place in a new town. Like any teen, Clare just wants to be accepted and her less than stellar relationship with her mother, her activist grandmother, and the stories surrounding her family have her on edge. To make matters worse, there have been tragedies in the small town on July 4th two years in a row, and the date is rapidly approaching again. could there really be a serial killer poised to strike again, or were the deaths tragic coincidences? When Clare finds a jacket that belongs to one of the victims, she is propelled on a personal quest to solve the mystery.

Hanging by a Thread is a novel with some dark themes. Clare's friend Rachel is unstable, but the collection of friends that she introduces Clare to are the typical group of good and bad teens you might see in any teen novel, movie, or television show. Then there is Jack, the bad boy that Clare is warned away from and of course wants even more because of it. Jack has anger issues, and while I was initially annoyed by Clare's immediate trust in him, despite what she sees when she touches his jacket, he turns out to be one of the most stable and sympathetic characters in the book. Clare's mom is distant and lost in her own troubles, while Clare's attitude towards her completely loving (and in my opinion awesome, grandmother made me a little sad.

Hanging by a Thread had a few issues, but as a whole it was a gripping story. I did not like all the characters, but they were believable, which is rather scary. I recommend the book to readers that like their mysteries with a leaning towards the paranormal.

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