[[ Audiobooks ]] The Hanging Girl Author Eileen Cook – Freepe.co

Destiny spun the wheel and did what it wanted, and the rest of us just had to hang on for the ride and do the best we could with the cards we were dealt The Hanging Girl by YA author, Eileen Cook, is an entertaining and very twisty thriller featuring a whip smart and brilliantly flawed central protagonist in eighteen year old Skye Thorn, a girl who ditched her birth name of Candi as soon as she possibly could Despite my opinion on the implausibility of the serpentine course this novel takes waxing and waning throughout there was enough substance between the pages to keep me hooked all the way Skye has a gift for reading people, telling them what they want to hear, seeing if their body language matches their words and ultimately spinning a damn fine story The gullible element amongst her high school peers can easily be convinced that this equates to some kind of psychic connection and will even hand over ten bucks for the privilege of having their tarot cards read by her As Skye herself says, Destiny is like a boulder Bulky and hard to move It s easier to leave it alone than to try to change it , but in a bid to leave small town Michigan and her life with a mother who is convinced that she has visions and even accepts recompense in the form of PayPal , Skye will do just about anything Best friends with wealthier college bound Drew, a girl from the other side of town, Skye is determined to move to NYC and share an apartment, so much so that she has already lied to Drew about having savings in the bank Given the big fat juicy lie that still hangs over Skye s head and has passed into town legend, she can ill afford to let Drew down a second time In short, Skye needs to make a quick buck fast An audacious plot is unveiled, with the kidnapped daughter of the local draconian Judge Bonett, seventeen year old Paige, being subject to a ransom demand In tandem with a shadowy figure going by the pseudonym of Pluto, Skye has agreed to conveniently feed some of her bogus visions to the cops, all in the name of getting them invested in her talents and delivering a well timed uptick in Paige s imminent risk of harm Judge Bonett is about to launch his bid for office as a Republican candidate and author Eileen Cook s thinly veiled swipes in the name of making political capital bring nothing to the novel Paige Bonett is the spoilt blonde haired queen bee of the popular girls, but with a reputation for her habit of taking off and unreliability, it appears that it will take some time for Skye s revelations to agitate the cops.Whilst it is one thing to accept the unworldly teenagers of high school being drawn into the ruse of Skye s gift, the problem comes when she moves onto the cops, teachers and adult figures, which is a far harder proposition to swallow To see her hoodwinking the cops and Judge Bonett requires a severe suspension of disbelief Welcome amusement is however added by the susceptibility of school counsellor, Mr Lester, to Skye s talents and her zany mother, Susan, a woman who swiftly jumps on the bandwagon of assisting the police and courting the media By this point, The Hanging Girl, was losing its grip on me, reliant on the fact that Skye was so easily being taken seriously by the cops and steering dangerously close to being a carbon copy of the synopsis of Linwood Barclay novella, Never Saw It Coming However, things are turned on their head when the identity of the mysterious Pluto is revealed and Judge Bonett fails to cough up what should be a trifling ransom for a man of his wealth From this point onwards my lips are sealed as for optimal enjoyment the reader is best served by witnessing the subsequent flip flop progression which shifts from Skye appearing to hold all the cards to dancing to someone else s tune From what should have been a straightforward execution of a simple ruse, the stakes are well and truly raised when Skye turns from a player into the one being played and it leaves her second guessing not one, but two, ruthless individuals who are pulling the strings If this stress isn t dramatic enough, Paige is then discovered DEAD, something that was most definitely not on Skye s agenda All to quickly, Skye finds herself trying to gauge the motivations of everyone from Paige s ex boyfriend, her competitive best friend and even the undercurrents between her and her father, in order to work out just who killed Paige and whether they are coming after her next..One of the reasons that I have begun to find many of these YA novels such a worthwhile read is because of the author s willingness to craft genuinely realistic and diverse characters and offer something away from the mainstream stereotypes Undoubtedly Skye is an excellent complete package with a complex history and her own battles with anxiety, meaning that as the tension ratchets higher, she is caught up in an associated battle of her mind over Despite her talent for lying and lack of qualms about spouting a host of baloney in the name of psychic visions, at heart, there is an ultimately sympathetic and likeable girl behind Skye s confident persona Evidence comes in the shape of the what kidnapping scam backfiring, leaving her in a moral quagmire and facing a choice of coming clean or being implicated I was really impressed with how Skye s character evolved and learnt from her experiences Suddenly from Skye priding herself on her ability for reading people, peeling back the layers and exposing their insecurities she has been resoundingly beaten at her own game.As for the supporting cast, Eileen Cook bombards her readers with every trope under the sun, from the overly earnest school counsellor, Mr Lester, to the precocious brat tendencies of Paige and her crowd of girlfriends Even with regards to the police investigation there was good cop, Detective Jay and bad cop, Detective Chan, himself a man who deals in facts and has no time for psychic phenomena The character that I was left pondering the most was the enigmatic Drew, and for supposedly being best friends with the obviously intelligent Skye, Drew seemed to be rather vacuous Aside from their domestic circumstances being diametrically opposed there is an obvious lack of chemistry in their dynamic I wan t convinced at all by the friendship when in actual fact, Drew and Skye share each have their own secrets and share next to nothing.Towards the ending, despite the about turn twist in the final pages, I really felt that The Hanging Girl copped out and went a little too heavy on the moralistic element and in the words of one detective to Skye You don t need to tell stories to be special, you know You re a pretty neat kid just the way you are All in all, I suspect that the rather numerous twists will keep a YA audience of around 12 14 years reading, but for anyone over that age bracket this will prove a little too simplistic Compared to the teen girl politics of Megan Abbott, The Hanging Girl just feels a little wooden, and Cook opts for an increasingly convoluted succession of twists I confess to being somewhat miffed and rather let down by the discovery of the killers identity, and whilst it raises questions of whether the prime movers get what they deserve, I was flummoxed by the killers identify and justification as it seems to appear out of the blue.An underwhelming execution of a plot which had a real abundance of potential I do however plan to read of this author and already have the highly rated, With Malice, awaiting.I received a free copy of this book from Readers First and my review is my honest and unbiased opinion. Spoiler free review I wasn t sure which was worse to know you were a liar, or to believe your own bullshit.I have never needed half star ratings so badly for any book review in my life 3.5 stars is really the perfect rating for this story, but for the sake of Goodreads rating system, down it goes to 3 stars.In a nutshell, The Hanging Girl is about Skye, a fake psychic who gets desperate for cash and assists in a kidnapping plot in order to load her bank account with a bit of ransom money Things don t work out the way she expected do they ever in these stories and she finds herself in deep trouble, risking her own safety and freedom.Her voice was bitter He ll be believed because people like him always get the benefit of the doubt But us We re expected to be losers My single biggest problem with this book was how rich vs poor trope heavy it was I think the author was trying to convey some serious social commentary on the state of things in the US specifically she even threw a few jabs at Republicans throughout the book, so it was pretty obvious and that would have been fine, if Paige, the kidnapping victim, hadn t been such a quintessential mean girl She s rich, beautiful, thin, gets everything she wants, totally cruel, and just an awful character.Naturally, our MC, Skye, is none of these things, and it led to so much girl on girl hate The entire book was actually rife with girls tearing down other girls, and it was just a tough pill to swallow because I ve grown so weary of this cliche Support other women, ladies Maybe being brave is what happens when you don t have a choice.There were aspects to this book that I enjoyed, of course, and Skye was for the most part one of them Skye has serious anxiety, and that rep felt very authentic to me as someone who also suffers from anxiety and panic attacks We learn early on that Skye also has a history of making up stories to make herself popular, and this aspect of her backstory made her an unreliable narrator of sorts, which was really enjoyable.Unfortunately, there s a twist in the end of the book that or less ruined her character for me, as she condones some really terrible business and essentially learns nothing from her trials By the end, I couldn t root for Skye, either, sadly.My dad tried to make it up to me He made plans for us talked about how we could both move forward But I d been making some plans of my own And I wasn t done yet.The book occasionally shifts into Paige s perspective, and gives a bit of backstory on why her life isn t all it s cracked up to be She s been through some tough times, but I never really connected with those incidents enough to feel like they explained her behaviors if anything, it seemed like they were just kind of thrown in as plot devices It was one of many problems that led me to feel as though the book was just one long red herring after another, with one excuse after another, but none of the characters even became fleshed out enough for me to buy any of it.All in all, was this a quick, fun mystery read Sure It wasn t horror by any stretch, so while it may not be the perfect addition to your Halloween TBR, it would be a good mystery to cozy up with Can I 100% recommend this book Not with the constant girl on girl bashing and some of the problems I ll list below Will I pick up books from Eileen Cook in the future That s yet to be determined.Content warnings this book contains implied rape, on page violence, mental health stigmas ableism, victim blaming, verbal emotional manipulation and bullying, and unchallenged slut shaming All quotes come from an unedited advance reading copy and may not match the quotes in the finished release. Thank you to HMH Books for Young Readers for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review You can read my review and on my blog 1.5 5 StarsDNF I could not stand this book. The story was all over the place, and the author was obviously trying way too hard to please today s society by giving us this extremely diverse set of characters Don t get me wrong, diversity is GREAT But when every character seems to be deliberately put in there just to make people happy, I don t like it It makes me feel like the story isn t the authors any, but rather that the author was pushed into pleasing society instead of staying true to their vision Not only that, but I HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS HAPPENING Honestly, it feels like I ve been picking up all the wrong books lately cause it seems like I m confused with nearly every book I try or I just flat out don t like it But seriously, there were some chapters in this book where you would assume it s in Skye s perspective she s the MC , however you d be told later that that chapter was actually someone else s perspective, and I was like whatSo then, I d backtrack and STILL be confused with that chapter.I decided to just give up once I read a paragraph that was flat out shaming Republican sThe crowd nodded Paige s dad was known as Hanging Bonnet for his harsh way of dealing with people who appeared before him The judge made the national news for his shaming sentences, where he would make criminals do embarrassing things in public to teach them a lesson Now they were saying he was a possible Republican candidate for a Senate seat Ohhh, I see So it s fine to do that to Republican s, right Cause they re harsh and enjoy forcing people to do things Mhm But don t you dare speak badly about Democrats because that s unacceptable It s like, reallyC mon Also, why the heck did that have to be mentioned in there She didn t have to add the political view But it was obvious that Cook was throwing a jab at Republicans, and I m sorry, but that really ticked me off Then again, I think it was unwise on her part to do that, since I m sure I won t be the only one to get annoyed by it.Overall, this was not my type of read The story was too disorganized and I didn t want to finish it You should never read books that irk you There are so many better books out there and I m not one of those people who are finicky about DNFing books If I hate it, I m probably not going to finishing it shrugs Then again, you might like this, so you should still give it a shot. There are three types of thrillers There is the big ending twist, where a book of buildup leads up to one whodunit revelation There is the obvious twist but ability to guess it doesn t really matter because that s not the point And then there is the so many twists, you cannot possibly guess all of them, or even half That s the category occupied by The Hanging Girl And how I am not exaggerating when I say the entire book flips on its head around three times If you guess even a fifth of the plot twists, you ve done the impossible And with so many twists, it is really difficult to guess the final outcome I doubt you will, and even if you do, I highly doubt you will guess the how and why I ve seen plenty of reviewers mention a few moments they found weak, and I have to say I m not sure I noticed Maybe I m just less analytical than some But I think the real reason behind my lack of notice comes from just how wrapped up I was in this story Here s the thing you are meant to enjoy this book, not analyze it You are meant to find a kind of dark pleasure in the morally shitty characters while also finding yourself lost in the dark atmosphere of the book I don t think this is a book you re necessarily meant to question or think is the greatest thing ever holy shit it s a thriller you re meant to race through and hang on every word And you know what I loved it.I don t agree that this is a weak or thin thriller, though far from it The narrative around poverty and what it can drive people to do is well handled without being heavy handed I also loved how the book made a clear connection between being marginalized and being less than elite the fact that many people in non privileged positions are queer and nonwhite is something I see erased a lot in fiction emphasizing class, and it was good that the book made a clear connection with privilege There s also a heavy focus on our lead character, Skye, who I absolutely adored While I can t say I d actually like her in real life, as a fictional character, she s written brilliantly Her actions feel so highly motivated that I never found it hard to empathize with her Even her decisions towards the ending felt real to me I honestly have very few complaints about this book while I think the meta narrative of the book is not pro slutshaming, there are several moments of slutshaming that do go somewhat unchecked There were also a few characters I thought had potential Drew and Paige are both incredibly intriguing characters and deserved much development than they actually got All that being said, though, this was a super interesting and entertaining read I shot through it in only a few hours and I expect many will do the same.Blog Goodreads Twitter Youtube Skye Thorn is a high school senior that has grown up with a mother that thinks she s psychic leading Skye to begin her own business of tarot readings For Skye though she knows there s no psychic ability behind her strangely accurate readings, she just knows how to really read people and with a little help reading personal files when working in the office she s spot on with her predictions Now that high school is coming to a close though Skye finds herself desperate for money when it doesn t look like her plans of moving to New York with her best friend will ever come to pass from her readings or part time job Before she knows it Skye finds herself pulled into what should be a harmless prank leading her to predict the whereabouts of a missing girl but Skye soon finds herself in over her head and wondering just how far things may go The Hanging Girl is my second book I ve read by Eileen Cook and just like the first it took no time at all to be deeply engaged in the story within the pages Somehow this author has managed to pretty much lay it all out there with her stories at the very beginning but still drag a reader into the intensity of the characters and story even with thinking you know where the book will take you But having read her before I knew that eventually I was going to go where I d never expect and just happily went along for the ride Skye is a bit of a girl from the wrong side of the tracks so to speak having been raised by a mother who was no than a child herself when Skye was born She sees herself as waiting tables with no future while all her friends will be moving on which leads her to get herself into than she bargained for looking for that way out and a step up in life I loved her rather sarcastic nature and quick wit and immediately became invested in finding out just what she was getting herself into Overall, I d definitely recommend checking this one out if a fan of young adult mystery thrillers It was engaging from the start and a definite page turner as the story unfolded with plenty of twists and turns to keep one guessing until the very end I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For reviews please visit Thanks again to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewCandi Skye Thorn is a senior in high school and has been giving tarot readings for several years now She doesn t believe that she actually has psychic abilities but she knows a lot about the people at her school which helps her fake her readings But when the town s golden girl goes missing, she decides to help the police with her psychic visions because this time, she has some inside knowledge Unfortunately though, things don t go the way Skye expected them to go and suddenly the rest of her senior year is a lot complicated than she thought it would be The Hanging Girl is the first one of Eileen Cook s books I ve read and I already know that it wasn t the last one I immediately fell in love with her writing style and I can t wait to get of it If you re looking for a great YA mystery thriller, this is the book you should choose It kept me on the edge of my seat and I just flew through it because I needed to know what was going to happen next There are several major plot twists in this book and I didn t see any of them coming They were very well done and actually made me gasp Another thing I loved about this book was that it has pretty short chapters It may sound weird but that s actually a big plus for me When I need to take a break for some unexpected reason, I just hate having to stop reading a book in the middle of a chapter just because I would have to read another thirty pages to get to the next one The only thing that bothered me a little was that the characters just felt a little flat I didn t really feel connected with any of them, not even with Skye even though the book was written from her point of view But this is just a minor thing and it definitely didn t destroy my reading experience All in all, this was a great book and I really, really enjoyed it I decided to give it 4 out of 5 stars and I highly recommend you get yourself a copy once it comes out I m definitely going to get myself a copy of her other book Without Malice now because it s been on my TBR since it came out. There is just something about a mystery with an unreliable narrator and excellent twists that does it for me The Hanging Girl follows Skye, a girl we immediately learn lies and has no qualms about it She does desperately need the money after all She is highly observant making it easy to trick her classmates into believing she is psychic in order to make a quick, easy buck Skye will read their tarot cards, telling them what they want to hear This makes her the perfect person for Pluto to work with bringing Skye in on the kidnapping of a fellow student who happens to be the daughter of a prominent judge in an attempt to get a ransom It s simple Skye won t be doing anything too illegal Just feed the police psychic predictions to make sure they re on the right track And get half the ransom after all is said and done If only Skye knew when things seem too good to be true, they usually are.Plenty of twists ensue throughout It is a fun ride even if you predict certain outcomes Eileen Cook is proving herself to be a strong writer in the YA mystery department Both this and With Malice are thrilling, engaging, and complex in the best of ways I enjoyed the characters and strong writing It felt like there were several smaller mysteries within this novel leading up to the biggest mystery of them all.If the psychic aspect is turning you off just know I felt the same way before reading, but it ended up working very well within the plot Nothing in the story was actually off putting In fact, I had a hard time putting this one down. About The Hanging Girl is a young adult mystery written by Eileen Cook It was recently published on 10 3 17 by HMH Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, hardcover, 320 pages The genres are young adult, fiction, mystery and thriller This book is intended for readers ages 14 and up, grades 9 and up.My Experience I started reading The Hanging Girl on 12 6 17 and finished it on 12 10 17 This book is an excellent read I love following Skye s point of view Her frustrations with her mom is so real, I can feel it reverberate off the story as I read I was falling for the diary hard, and the revelations were shocking and most unexpected I love it I like Paige s point of view as well Her situation with her parents is no better than Skye s I like that the author bring lights to readers that not everything is beautiful as it looks A person that seems to have everything can still feel as unhappy as the person who doesn t have enough I like the whole concept with the psychic readings, the plot, and the characters.This book is told in the first person point of view, following Candi Skye Thorn aka Skye, a fake tarot reader and a senior in high school Skye is less fortunate than her fellow classmates and she lies to make her situation better When she was in eighth grade, one of her lies blows up publicly, and living in a small town, nobody forgets or willing to leave it in the past Her dream is to leave the small town and move to New York with her best friend Drew Graduation is fast approaching and she needs the cash fast She agreed to her role in the disappearance of a fellow classmate, Paige a wild child that even if she s missing for a few days, most people would think that she is out of town with her friends When Paige s disappearance becomes than an easy ransom money making scheme, Skye has to decide if she s willing to do the right thing, even if there s a chance that she will go down publicly again This book has some plot twists that will shock readers This book is very well written and developed I like the theme of Trust no one Deceive everyone I enjoy the mystery and how everything unravels slowly, but at the same time, readers are included in behind the scenes as it unfolds I like how the author creates puzzles with words events for Skye to solve and I enjoy reading her thinking process I turned back to previous pages twice after the plot twists occurred and I m impressed that I didn t see it coming I like Skye and her mom s relationship despite their ups and downs The ending beautifully wrapped up everything together and I highly recommend everyone to read this book Pro fast paced, page turner, mystery, dual POV, couldn t put down, diversity, plot twistsCon noneI rate it 5 stars Disclaimer I won this book from a Twitter giveaway hosted by the author Thank you so much Eileen Cook for the opportunity to read and review I love the package book, autographs, and candies Please be assured that my opinions are honest.xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for details I wasn t sure which was worse to know you re a liar or to believe your own bullshit For years, Eileen Cook has been my go to for YA thrillers Her stories are decidedly dark and unsettling, yet approachable The Hanging Girl, Eileen Cook s latest edition, is no exception It s a compelling mixture of nail biting suspense and teen angst Richly woven, it ll keep you guessing to the very last page Literally Candi Thorn, better known as Skye, has spent her entire life resenting both her ridiculous name and the kooky mother who bestowed it Desperate to escape small town Michigan, Skye has long planned to move to NYC with her bestie the second the ink dries on her diploma Problem is graduation s fast approaching and Skye s about 30 cents shy of a quarter Slinging fast food and giving out occasional tarot card readings ain t cutting it There enters Code Named Pluto Pluto proposes a deal S he ll kidnap Paige the wild, popular, teenaged daughter of a local judge In exchange, Skye simply has to use her psychic abilities to help police solve the case Ransom money will be evenly divided with Skye earning a cool 12,000 The Big Apple s lights look a tad brighter already Complications arise, however, when Paige s father refuses to cough up the dough And shit really hits the fan when Paige turns up DEAD The Hanging Girl s success is due in no small part to the shrewd, snarky Skye Forced to live with an irresponsible mother who chats with dead people on the reg, Skye spends her days conning cheerleaders for cash with fake tarot card readings Cynical Skye is very much a reaction to her eccentric mother A mother who would rather spend time analyzing auras than paying bills And it s their relationship that s a highlight of the story Their odd couple dynamic makes Skye s personality both realistic and understandable And her deadpan humor brings spark to an otherwise DARK story The girl makes bad decision an artform, yet remains surprisingly likable No small feat.Reminiscent of a teen Gone Girl, Eileen Cook s latest creation is riveting and INTENSE Twists abound and just when you think you have everything figured out, the script is FLIPPED And the ending More than a smidge fucked up Oh Eileen, you never fail to disappoint. Skye Thorn Has Given Tarot Card Readings For Years, And Now Her Psychic Visions Are Helping The Police Find The Town S Missing Golden Girl It S No Challenge Her Readings Have Always Been Faked, But This Time She Has Some Insider Knowledge The Kidnapping Was Supposed To Be Easy No One Would Get Hurt And She D Get The Money She Needs To Start A New Life But A Seemingly Harmless Prank Has Turned Dark, And Skye Realizes The People She S Involved With Are Willing To Kill To Get What They Want And She Must Discover Their True Identity Before It S Too Late