Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Book Review: The Murmurings by Carly Anne West

Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.

As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not.

Before I started this book I took one look at the cover, shuddered and then got a little excited.  I am a massive horror fan and I thought this was going to scare the pants out of me, but in truth it didn’t.

Actually it was not scary at all and there is no way that I would ever label this book as a horror story.  Somehow along the way this book has been massively misunderstood.  All over Goodreads people are talking about how scary it looks, how the cover freaks people out.  I am not blaming them, I WAS one of those people but the problem is that this is not what this book is and I am afraid that people will dislike it because they wanted to be scared.  The Murmurings is not a ghost story (although there are ‘ghosts’ in it) it is a psychological thriller and it is a pretty good one.

I thought the writing was very good, this is Carly Anne West’s first novel and it is a promising start.  There are a few moments where I thought it could have been richer, or more developed but for a debut novel this is pretty good.  I cannot fault her for her imagination, The Murmurings is different from other books of this sort and has a very interesting storyline that managed to draw me in effortlessly.  There was a few times where I felt things maybe went a little too far but it did not happen often and it did not put me off. 

The main character Sophie was likable and she had to be because she was kind of on her own.  There was no real parental input in this novel or her life, she had no real family apart from an aunt that was more concerned with helping her grieving mother.  She had no friends apart from Evan, the love interest, and things could be awkward between them.  Sophie carries this and if you don’t like her then you won’t like this.  There were a few times when she did things that I felt were stupid and I wanted to scream at her to make her stop but it was never annoying enough to put me off her.  She was mostly sensible and genuine.

Evan was sweet to and added some much needed lighter moments.  This is a fairly dark book and his input stopped it from being too heavy.  The romance was sweet and awkward like a lot of new teenage romances are.  I liked the way it was played out, it was not a main part of the book and there was no relationship drama that swallowed up everything else.

The Murmurings is a good thriller that does have some spooky aspects but is far from horror.  I really hope that readers will see this for what it is and not be disappointed in the lack of horror.

4 stars

Published March 5th 2013 by Simon Pulse.  A free copy was provided for review. Image courtesy of Goodreads

Review by Kate Phillips


  1. Cool Review! I thought it was going to be creepy, but that's ok for me that it's not because lately I've been all about mysteries/psychological thrillers!!
    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Book Blog

  2. I don't know why but I find the cover beautiful and horror was the last thing that comes to my mind :)
    I will have to check this book. It sounds interesitng.
    I think that Sophie sounds like a strong leading character specially because she alone with her aunt.
    great review


  3. I'm reading this next. Thanks for letting me know what I'm getting into.


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