Saturday, April 11, 2020

Review: The Telling by Alexandra Sirowy

The TellingTitle: The Telling
Author: Alexandra Sirowy
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publishing Date: August 2nd, 2016
Pages: 400
Audio Length: 11 Hours and 59 Minutes
Genre: YA Mystery Thriller
TW: Murder
Series: Standalone
Source: Audio 

Lana used to know what was real. That was before, when her life was small and quiet. Her golden stepbrother, Ben was alive. She could only dream about bonfiring with the populars. Their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell truth from lies, and Ben's childhood stories were firmly in her imagination.
Then came after.
After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, living with nerve and mischief. But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten: love, blood, and murder.

I have been dreading writing this review. I read it a month and a half ago and just didn't know what to write. Now I didn't know what to write and I didn't remember as much about the book as I should have. Oops.

I had originally picked this book up because of the cover and of course I really love anything that's horror or thriller or mystery. So I thought it sounded like a good read. 

This is another one of those books that we requested and it never got reviewed, so I decided to read and review it... 

The cover is honestly one of the best part of this book. I love the underwater and the colors. I do not like the bright red or the beads. I understand they're part of the story, but I feel like they're super out of place. 

I loved the idea of this story. I wanted this to be a crazy scary mystery thriller. It sounded like it would have been. I wanted a good mystery I could sink my claws into. And just... no...

It ended up being way weird, and not at all thrilling. I ended up figuring out the "big gasp" pretty quickly, so that was disappointing. 

The relationship was sooo incestuous. It was gross and I felt really awkward reading it. It made me so uncomfortable. 
I feel like the author could have gone another way than what she did. I understand they're only step siblings, but when you're step siblings with someone that long they're basically you're family at that point. 
*End spoiler* 

I felt like especially for a mystery thriller this book was incredibly slow. I like some slow burning mystery thrillers, but this just felt like it took forever to read. I just kept waiting for it to be done so I could go on to the next book. 

I just felt like the pace could have picked up a lot quicker, or had a better build so that the anticipation could have hit harder. Some of the best things about horror movies is the build up. 

It was just flat. I haven't read any other books by this author, but if they're anything like this I'm not going to care for it much. I didn't care for the characters, there was no character development. The story didn't drive it. It just felt flat and like it was trying too hard. 

Well I felt like the characters were all pretty flat. I couldn't connect with any of them, I didn't like any of them, I didn't care what happened to them. I would have liked to have strong feelings towards them one way or the other. Died, lived, kidnapped, whatever, I just didn't care much.  

I couldn't at all picture where they were, or even what was really happening. I don't like books with a lot of over descriptions, but I felt like this one didn't have enough. 

As I said above I had the big WOW figured out, so the ending was kind of weird and predictable. So it was just a bit meh.

The narrator did the best she could. She brought a little bit of life to this book.

Quite a disappointment. I was really hoping for more and it just fell really flat. 

“The good and bad are indistinguishable in the dark.”
― Alexandra Sirowy, The Telling

Shallow GravesThe Killing WoodsThe Half Life of Molly Pierce

Alexandra Sirowy was born and raised in Northern California. She has a graduate degree in International Studies and loves to eat, laugh, travel, read, and go on adventures. She's the author of the YA thrillers THE CREEPING, the Bram Stoker award shortlisted THE TELLING, and her latest, FIRST WE WERE IV. She lives in California with her husband and daughter. Visit her at

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