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The Social Potato Reviews

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Another Little Piece - Kate Karyus Quinn Read this and my other reviews over at The Social Potato!

A copy was received in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my thoughts in any way.

Final verdict: High 3.5 stars

Interestingly enough, I'm finding this one a little hard to review. This doesn't mean to say I didn't enjoy it; I did! I think it's a well thought-out and executed book touching on various elements that would appeal to audiences wanting to read a darker side of the paranormal genre, with a good amount of horror and a tad bit of mystery to finish it off. I have no qualms about the writing either; the prose was hypnotizing, successfully putting a mood of discomfort and secrecy, truly making us feel there's something not right with the picture. This only proves how much of a promising writer Quinn is, and I no doubt would be looking forward to her future books just for her writing prowess alone. So why only 3.5 stars? Let's just say it's an instance of "it's not about you, it's me."

Another Little Piece is a hard book to get into at first. The beginning can be quite frustrating to follow, especially with all the fragmented scenes that go back and forth from one perspective to another even if they come from, allegedly, the same person. And it's confusing. Reaaally confusing, but surprisingly enough, it didn't deter me away from the book. While it was deliberately slow and ambiguous, it only made me want to know more about the mystery: what really happened to Annaliese? Is she really suffering from amnesia or is she housing another consciousness within her? It made for a really good riddle to solve, and Quinn's sublime writing made it all the more spectacular and thought-provoking.

However... the novelty didn't last. While the memories and flashbacks were pretty neat at first, effectively giving us a clearer understanding of what happened AND what may happen, the disjointedness and fragmentation of it all became a bit exhausting, especially since it felt like I was a ball being passed around from one person to another. Surely, the confusion eventually settles and you kind of piece everything together yourself, but for impatient readers, this may pose as a problem.

I also had a problem regarding the main character. She was decent, but there were times she seemed too unfeeling and cold that it was hard for me to sympathize with her. I understand that like us, she didn't know who she was or where she came from, and that she's trying to put things together as well, but the personal relationship between the MC and reader never happened between us, and I really lament that. But even though her elusive nature didn't connect with me, it did serve to really set the mood for the overall atmosphere of the story. I also had a problem with the MC constantly feeling like kissing the love interest... it really disturbed me that every time something drastic happened, they would kiss, which is almost always succeeded by her saying of how much she longed for that touch of the lips, the desperation, the feeling of their skins against one another... it sometimes felt overwhelming, but that's probably just me. The other characters fell somewhat flat, too... they could've been promising individuals, but as the story went on, they eventually became a part of the background — unmemorable and forgettable. I only truly liked Shirley and Dex, as I felt they were the ones that had the most depth.

Bottomline, immediately get this if you like...
* a hypnotizing narrative that successfully portrays a dark, menacing story and background;
* a narration style that incorporates flashbacks and memories (because she does make it work);
* a slow-paced and mysterious plot that won't drive you crazy but would rather make you want to learn more;
* a darker take on the paranormal/supernatural genre; and
* putting the pieces together yourself. Confusion and vagueness abound, so you may need to read between the lines a lot.

Overall, I think this is a very good debut. Quinn has mad writing skills and really knows how to make the mood right for the intended genres. I like creepy, and this is creepy, so I automatically like it. I just wish the heroine was more likeable and that the flashbacks didn't become too overwhelming. But otherwise, this is a strong and high 3.5/5 :)

The Social Potato Reviews