Published: August 7th 2014 by Orchard Books
Pages: 256 pages
A haunting mystery, romance in the vein of The Lovely Bones by New York Times bestselling author.
"The yard of this house is a graveyard of moments and everything left behind is a clue. And I am here to dig."
There's a ghost haunting 208 Water Street. She doesn't know who she was, or why she's still here. She does know that she is drawn to Maggie, the new girl in town, and her friends - beautiful, carefree Pauline and Liam, the boy who loves her.
But the ghost isn't all that's lurking in Gill Creek... Someone is killing young girls all across the country. Can the ghost keep these three friends safe? Or does she have another purpose?
"This is no place for anyone with a heart."
- Jodi Lynn Anderson, The Moment Collector
Thanks to Hachette Children's Books and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book!
I'm still trying to put the pieces together. As in what I actually just read. I'm looking at the misleading synopsis when I say it does not fit in the catagory of a murder-mystery novel, a ghost story even less. It was something I never saw coming, and I'm not talking positively here.
The only light-hearted thing that was to be found in The Moment Collector, was a tiny bit of the romance. I enjoyed seeing Maggie's and Liam's relationship develop into something more. Despite what everyone says about him and Pauline, Maggie still believed they could have something. Something special. Something he and Pauline would never have. It was so obvious what was going to happen. Secretly I had been crossing my finger throughout the book and wait until the author would surprise me with a lovely plot twist. I hope the people who've read the book understand me when I say I'm not all to pleased about how it turned out. It's a special love-triangle all right, but not the only I enjoyed reading about. It was all too messy and did nothing good to the characters themselves.
Talking about the characters, I feel like I can go ahead and say I didn't care for every one of them. They didn't feel special to me in any way, and none of them managed to grab my attention. Maggie was an okay protagonist, if only she didn't bore me to death. Don't get me wrong, out of them all, I understood her actions. Her little crush on Liam and her actions following up to that are what every young girl would do. She was new in town and didn't feel comfortable with it all. She would rather go home, to where everything was fine the way it was. On the other hand, she could fit into the very same catagory as Liam, Pauline and everyone else; characters who're flat, poorly executed with little to no character development. Liam was a weak character with no self-esteem and Pauline frustrated with every word that stumbled out of her little perfect mouth. One day she's ready to go and explore the world and be happy. She doesn't need Liam. She doesn't love him and wants to meet other boys. Then, she realises she already had everything but threw it all away. I hope the point I'm trying to make is clear. This girl has more mood-swings than anyone out there. She's always changing her mind and always gets exactly what she wants, even though she messed it all up. I just really don't like that girl.
There's nothing much of a plot going on. If one would actually call those messy storylines a real plot. They didn't connect in any way and all felt like loose strings. Suddenly there's this happening and we get nothing close to a conclusion because there's already something new to fill up the pages. It was all way too focused on the romance for anything else to happen. I'm being honest here when I say this could have been an excellent murder-mystery novel if there actually was more attention paid to that aspect of the book. What we have now is close to nothing. The same goes for the supposed ghost story. Having your ghost tell something at the end of some chapters, which isn't anything new or exciting, isn't going to turn your book into a ghost story. Both could have been done so much better, and I'm really sad they didn't turn out to be what I expected.
The pace was utterly slow. I had to force myself to keep reading because it is an advanced reading copy and I had to be able to write a proper review about it. I don't know whether I'm glad I read that ending. Not only didn't it manage to leave a satisfied I actually finished it, it made me even more confused and left me with a ton of questions I don't care about. It was so tragic, I felt like Shakespeare almost had to step aside. When I say tragic, I mean overly-tragic. Where did that come from? It was rushed in a way I've never read before. Like the author didn't know what to write anymore so she threw something in she hoped would surprise her readers. I'm surprised all right, but not the kind I think she hoped for.
Overall, The Moment Collector was boring and didn't succeed in making me enjoy it. It's a sad book with flat characters and an overly-tragic ending which still doesn't make any sense. Disappointment of the year.