After reading Carly Anne West’s incredibly unnerving novel, The Bargaining, I decided that I definitely wanted to read the book she had released prior to that one, which is The Murmurings. The back of the book summarizes it as the main character’s sister is institutionalized for hearing voices and then is later found dead, presumably from suicide, but then the main character starts to hear the voices herself. I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to like the book from this summary, just because I have a lot of history with suicide and such and it’s kind of a touchy subject. However, after finishing the book I realized that that summary is incredibly misleading. It makes the book out to be kind of like a psychological thriller, when it reality it falls more into the same category as Stranger Things, as a Sci Fi Horror.
The main character is Sophie, a girl grieving for the loss of her sister, Nell. She begins to hear and see the same things that her sister did and ends up being hunted and tormented throughout the whole book, and eventually checked into the same mental institution as her sister was. That’s probably about the time that I realized that the back of the book did not do justice to just how incredibly tense and nail-biting this novel was. I chew my nails chronically, but nothing could prepare my more fingers for this book. Ouch. I was so anxious through the second half of the book that I found myself having to take breaks just to give myself a breather. That’s how well it is written. You get very attached to Sophie as she goes on this amazing and terrifying adventure to unravel the conspiracy around her sister’s, and many others like her and her sister, wrongful death.
This book is chock full to the brim of twists and surprises, as well as lovable characters and well written dialogue. That’s one thing I really loved in The Bargaining and noticed was also present in The Murmurings, is that West has a very fluid and whimsical writing style. All of her dialogue and descriptions flow so naturally, so realistically, so vividly, that you feel as if you are actually present for the events taking place. If I had to rate it, I think I would give it a 4/5 or a 5/5. The only reason I would give it a 4/5 would be because I, personally, can’t reread more often than once every few months just because it does send my anxiety through the roof, hah. I like my books to have reread value. But other than that, this book is amazing and I can’t find a single thing wrong with it. A+ story telling!