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The Bargaining Paperback – February 9, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—After fights at school and the accidental death of her best friend (and worst enemy), Penny needs some time away, or at least her parents think she does. The teen's mom dumps her two states away with her dad and stepmom, April. April has a grand plan to renovate an old house in some remote woods over the summer and expects Penny to go with her. While it's not an ideal situation, Penny goes along with it only to discover that things are not as they seem in the North Woods. No one willingly sets foot in the area and Penny is sure she hears voices and laughter and she keeps seeing things. Is it ghosts, long lost children, or something far more sinister? If Penny confesses what is going on in the Carver House, will anyone believe her, or will they think she's lost her mind? A pervading sense of creepiness drives this book. It's possible to get lost following some of the plot lines and there is not a real resolution. Readers never learn what plagues the Carver house and the North Woods, but chances are they won't care. The scary parts are truly terrifying, akin to old school Stephen King novels, not to be read before bedtime. Give to teens who claim they aren't afraid of things that go bump in the night.—Heather Webb, Worthington Libraries, OH --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"[The Bargaining] rewards patient readers with both frightening action and emotional insight." (Kirkus Reviews)
"The scary parts are truly terrifying, akin to old school Stephen King novels, not to be read before bedtime. Give to teens who claim they aren’t afraid of things that go bump in the night." (School Library Journal)
Top customer reviews
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There is great poetry in the writing; "trees counting their leaves", among many examples. And the numerous characters are fully developed. I can identify with many of them, thinking of past regrets, and/or unfinished business.
I cannot help but follow this as a movie when I read this book. I know that a movie could never capture the intricate, poetic writing, but I would love to see a screenwriter take this plot and turn it into a thriller.
This could appeal to any age-group. Teens would love the coming of age characters.............adults can relate to the many characters with regrets. Well done.
Just to start off, I'm a major horror junkie! When it comes to books, the creepier and gorier the better! When I read the blurb for the book and found out two people were going to be staying in a creepy cabin—deep in the woods in a small town, I got so excited. It sounded like a legit horror movie! After finishing the book, only about 45% of it felt creepy—basically the second half with a couple of scenes in the beginning. The scenes that did creep me out were really well-written. Carly Anne West is a really good writer!
The Bargaining had a really slow set up. Actually until about the middle, the pace was very slow. Then, with the ending—I didn’t really get the big twist or whatever. I felt like I missed something actually.
The main character, Penny made me feel indifferent. I didn't find her annoying or anything but I couldn't say I related to her either. We didn't connect. I did notice that she kept making those classic horror movie mistakes--*I think I creepy people in the woods--let me go check it out* ALONE.
At times Penny was also inconsistent. She's been through the divorce of her parents and finds it hard to trust people. Yet, when she meets her *love interest* or *the only guy her in age in a ten mile radius* Miller, she basically tells him her whole life story after only meeting him maybe three time. Their relationship went too fast for someone with trust issues and it felt kind of forced.
Overall, The Bargaining was a good read! I had some issues with it, but I would recommend if you like creepy horror or mysteries. It's definitely one of those books you might have to read twice to fully understand the story.
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