I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Screams You Hear by James Morris
Published by Inkspot Imaginarium on Jan 8, 2018
Genres: Horror, Mystery
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For sixteen-year-old Ruthie Stroud, life on tiny Hemlock Island in the Pacific Northwest is an endless sea of boring green, in a place where everybody knows everybody’s business and nothing ever happens. Then her world is ripped apart when her parents divorce and a new man enters her mother’s life. But worse is yet to come.
When she drifts ashore on the mainland, hideously burned, Ruthie has a harrowing tale to tell. It begins with the murder of a family. It ends with her being the sole survivor of a cataclysm that sweeps her little island. As a detective attempts to unravel Ruthie’s story of murder and madness, only one horrifying conclusion can be drawn: whatever was isolated on remote Hemlock Island may now have come to the mainland. Is Ruthie safe? Is anyone?
Ruthie Stroud, horribly burned and lone survivor, washes up on shore of the mainland. While in the burn unit, she tells a horrifying tale about what happened on her tiny island of Hemlock Cove. Hemlock Cove, population 600, is a small island in the Pacific Northwest. Not much goes on here and everyone knows everyone. Her life has been turned upside down with the divorce of her parents and Ruthie is not happy living in the home of her mother’s current boyfriend. Ruthie feels alone and hurt by her mother’s actions. The only other person Ruthie is close to is her best friend, Max. While on the way home from school one day, they witness a brutal scene. A local family has been murdered. This sets off a chain of events in their tiny island community that rocks their entire world. Why is Ruthie the only survivor?
Screams You Hear switches from past to present as Ruthie recounts the last few days on Hemlock Cove to a detective tasked with finding out what happened. It is not an easy tale to tell and at times it is downright frightening. James Morris really has a knack for infusing a YA story with a strong horror/mystery that even I had trouble figuring out. The twists were pretty shocking and really help the story move along as the suspense builds even more. I found myself glued to the pages needing to know what happens next. Scenes are action packed and there is a lot of violence which led to me feeling the direness of the situation.
Character development is really strong in this story. I feel that we really got to know Ruthie and her thoughts and feelings along with some of the other teens relevant to the story. Ruthie is a sympathetic character and I felt for what she was going through in her home life with the divorce of her parents, which many young teens go through when their family is split up. It also shows that through all of the chaos how a group of teens bonded together, scared, but determined to stay alive. I found myself really feeling sorry for Ruthie as she lays their, burned and in pain, giving a detailed play by play of the events that have changed her life.
James Morris really has a way with words while describing Hemlock Cove with such vivid imagery. It is almost as if I can picture the tiny island in my mind, the lush grass, the clffs, the white capped water, all so clearly. Although isolated for the most part, it sounded like such a beautiful place until it all turned sour.
I really enjoyed Screams You Hear. it had all of the main things I look for in a story. It was gripping, full of angst, and most times downright terrifying. I had a hard time dragging myself away from the story and as the action and suspense builds, I needed to find out what happened next. Set aside some time and be thoroughly engrossed in a tale filled with emotion, horror and a mystery that needs to be solved. Ride along through all of the shocking twists to a conclusion that will leave you utterly speechless.