My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This had a great premise. In fact, I think the premise was my favourite part of the novel. When something terrible happens to Clare’s great grandmother, she passes on a gift to her family allowing them to touch people’s clothes and see the sins they committed while wearing them. It’s a gift and a curse for budding designer Clare. And when she moves back to the town she grew up in, a town destroyed by the deaths of two kids in as many years, there’s more sins Clare discovers than she ever thinks possible.
Clare was an okay character. I liked her well enough, and I appreciated that she asked the hard questions even though she knew the reactions she would get probably wouldn’t have been the best. But she was a little unsympathetic. I especially didn’t like the way she treated her nan, or the way she was so quick to judge her friends and she could be cruel with her mum. I mean, everything she did was realistic, and sometimes I was glad when she stood up for herself to her mother, but she didn’t just stand up for herself. She was cutting – hitting her mother where it hurt.
There was a romance too. Jack; the first suspect in the murders. And though he isn’t painted in the best light throughout the novel (has a record, anger problems, isn’t liked by many people), Clare can’t help but fall for him. It’s not often in a YA book that the girl ends up happily ever after with the guy with massive anger problems. So I had to appreciate the realism there. He was a nice guy, but he definitely has some issues.
I liked reading along and trying to solve the mystery along with Clare, but when it was solved, I was left feeling a little cheated. I expected more from it. Littlefield did surprise me with the culprit, but I didn’t get much out of the reveal. I wanted more! I wanted it to be an ‘ooooh’ moment, and instead it all happened really fast and by the time I realised what had happened, the book had moved on.
The visions when Clare touched the clothes were also hard to read. I get that they were supposed to be jumbled, but they shouldn’t be jumbled to read. Often, I had to go back and reread to make sure I understood. There were also some discrepancies in the story. For example, Jack says that he and Amanda only dated for six weeks before she disappeared, but then the year before when the young boy was killed, Amanda was supposedly trying to sneak out to see Jack. So unless she was chasing him a full year before they got together, it didn’t make sense to me.
I did enjoy reading this. I wanted it to be a little more thrilling, but otherwise it was a good mystery. 4 stars.