Photographer, book reviewer, mama, cat-lover in Seattle. Originally from England.
You can find my reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, and Edelweiss+.
School library volunteer at my son's K8 school. Member of ALA and YALSA.
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First of all, I'm thrilled to be part of this blog tour for 'The Window' - my first book blog tour! So thank you to The Fantastic Flying Book Club for including me. This book, the debut novel for Amelia Brunskill, had been on my TBR list for a while so when I saw the sign-up for the tour, I jumped at the chance. I'm big on mysteries, and well, I immediately had cover-love. I can't deny it. Just look at that stark black cover with the simple window design. Amazing. So is the book...
Before my own review, a bit about the author, Amelia, as well as the book synopsis.
AMELIA BRUNSKILL, author of THE WINDOW
Amelia Brunskill was born in Melbourne, Australia, but she grew up mostly in Washington state (yay!) where she picked a lot of blackberries, read a lot of books, and failed to properly appreciate the epic beauty of the mountains and the Pacific ocean.
She earned her bachelors degrees in psychology and art from the University of Washington and her master in information studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She now lives in Chicago, where she eats as much Thai food as possible and works as a librarian. The Window is her debut novel.
Her website (and links) can be found HERE. And now onto the book!
'The Window' by Amelia Brunskill
Anna is everything her identical twin is not. Outgoing and athletic, she is the opposite of quiet introvert Jess. The same on the outside, yet so completely different inside–it’s hard to believe the girls are sisters, let alone twins. But they are. And they tell each other everything.
Or so Jess thought.
After Anna falls to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window, Jess’s life begins to unravel. Everyone says it was an accident, but to Jess, that doesn’t add up. Where was Anna going? Who was she meeting? And how long had Anna been lying to her?
Jess is compelled to learn everything she can about the sister she thought she knew. At first it’s a way to stay busy and find closure . . . but Jess soon discovers that her twin kept a lot of secrets. And as she digs deeper, she learns that the answers she’s looking for may be truths that no one wants her to uncover.
Because Anna wasn’t the only one with secrets.
It doesn't take long for Jess, and for the reader, to find out that Anna has fallen to her death, upon starting the book. There's no big lead-in and there's no 'big moment' when Jess feels that her twin has passed away, and that's what bothers her so much. I do like when a book gets right into the story right away... Then it really starts to dawn on Jess just how distant she has been from her twin, and how little she has known about her for so long. There is so little about her death, falling from her bedroom window, that makes sense, and it starts Jess on a long trail to find out what really happened, despite the insistence from those around her, that it's just her grief preventing her from accepting that Anna is gone.
The novel is written from Jess's perspective, and interspersed with writings by Anna, which gradually reveal a lot about the now-deceased twin, and also reveals a pair of twin sisters who are incredibly different from each other. Jess is socially awkward, while Anna is revealed to be friendly and to have a lot going on at school.
But the deeper Jess digs to uncover what has happened, the more she finds out that makes her think that they weren't just different, Anna was doing some things that their parents would never have approved of, and had people talking. Through Jess's amateur sleuthing though, she starts to gather some new friends and activities, but she won't stop searching for clues until she has closure.
All the way through the book, I felt as insistent as Jess on finding out why things weren't adding up; even as many novels I feel like I've read where there's a death, and someone has to go and follow the breadcrumbs, at the risk of looking obsessive or crazy, to try and piece together what the truth is, this had me compelled all the way through. I also found the way that Amelia writes to be very natural, and in contrast to some YA contemporary novels, the way in which the teen characters speak to each other, it doesn't seem stilted or fake.
And as much as I tried to piece the mystery together myself, I was wrong, and I couldn't do it, so all I could do, was follow along as the story steered me and meant me to, and find out what happened just as Jess did. And that's exactly why this book works.
As a young adult mystery, or simply as mystery wherein a death of a loved one must be solved, this book is an easy and satisfying read; there's nothing complex about it, but it left me feeling quite sad; I'm sure the loss of a twin is heart-wrenching. I have no idea how a twin might feel about how this book works, but I do know a lot about grief and about how it makes you search for answers. I'd also love to see what Amelia writes next. Her style of writing is a pleasure to read, and I do hope many of you get to read this one!
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY! Get your chance to win a COPY of 'THE WINDOW' by entering through the link below!
GIVEAWAY Prize: 3 copies of THE WINDOW by Amelia Brunskill (US Only)
Starts: 3/27 Ends: 4/12
CLICK here for a Rafflecopter giveaway
FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR!
You can find the full blog tour schedule at this link: Full THE WINDOW Blog Tour Schedule Link
And after you have added the book to your Booklikes shelf, and your Goodreads TBR, this is where you can order and BUY YOUR BOOK!!
Goodreads: Add to your GOODREADS list
Amazon: Buy on AMAZON
Barnes & Noble: Buy at B&N.com
Book Depository: Order at The BOOK DEPOSITORY
Kobo: Buy it for your KOBO
IndieBound: Buy at INDIEBOUND
iBooks:Buy on iTUNES
And don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY!!!
*Direct Link TO WIN COPIES OF THE WINDOW: a Rafflecopter giveaway
GOOD LUCK, and HAPPY READING!!