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Posted November 30, 2012
Disclaimer: My copy was offered by the author in exchange for an honest review.
This is one of the rare times when I don’t know how to start my review because, well… I enjoyed this book so much that I forgot to take notes, I didn’t stop to think about anything, I just went with it and loved every word! So, “Stitch”… “Stitch” is one of those very few books that pull you in and make you think about the characters and “OMG, what’s going to happen next” even when you should be working or going about your daily routines. Every time I got some free minutes, I’d just grab my Kindle and steal two or three pages. That’s how good “Stitch” was!
Samantha Durante managed to create a compelling universe where nothing is what it seems to be and the reader is as clueless as the characters themselves. Her novel has everything it needs to keep you on the edge until the very last pages: fast-paced action, incredibly well developed characters, a sweet romance story, a complex plot, a major twist and some very well placed clues that somehow prepare you for what’s to come, yet when IT happens you’re taken by surprise. “Stitch” has easily earned its place on my list of favorite dystopian novels.
Alessa Khole is a student at the Eastern State University and is struggling to build a new life after her parents’ death. But she’s got only one friend, Janie, and she can’t care less about the campus life and the sorority parties, so everything seems pointless… she can’t bring herself to move on. Until she starts seeing… a ghost. What’s even stranger than being the only one in the house who can see the apparition, is that she feels like she knows this blue-eyed boy and craves to hold him and keep him safe. Confused by these unexplainable feelings, she is determined to find out who the boy is and how he died, hoping this will bring her peace. This is how Alessa learns his name is Isaac Mason and he died in a fire in 1917 along with his entire family. Sounds like a ghost story until now, right? Well… you need to brace yourselves because Isaac is no ghost, he didn’t die in a fire, Janie is not Alessa’s best friend and Alessa is not even a student at the ESU! Confused much? Yeah, I’ve warned you you’ll be just as clueless as the characters, because someone is playing tricks with their minds and their memories… they don’t know what’s real anymore and what if everything is just a… show?
Ok, I’m not going to tell you anything else about the plot because I really don’t want to spoil your surprise. So I’ll tell you about the characters. I loved the fact that the author took her time to thoroughly describe the characters and their emotions, following all their thoughts, plans, hopes and insecurities. I could really relate to them and I genuinely cared about Alessa, Isaac and Janie. They are realistic, alive and palpable. Also, the plot was well-thought and the story kept me glued to the pages no matter if it was a ghost story and a sweet romance (the first half of the book) or a complex, intriguing dystopia (the second half).
Samantha Durante’s debut novel, “Stitch”, is a book you won’t easily forget. I can’t wait to read the next novel in the trilogy – “Shudder” – and see how Alessa and Isaac manage to survive in the desolate world they’ve been thrown into and bring freedom to all those who are trapped in the cruel game created by a higher, privileged class.
Posted November 14, 2012
Stitch began as a paranormal romance that was familiar and refreshing at the same time. It was familiar in that it was about a girl who was trying to figure out what she wanted out of life while being haunted by the presence of a ghost only she could see. The refreshing aspects of it were that the girl was a college student (yay for new adult!) and that she was having recurring nightmares of a prison. Now, having strange dreams may seem typical of the paranormal genre, but in actuality, it played a big role in why the story wasn't just a paranormalWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 13, 2012
I requested a copy of this book from the author to review and she graciously complied. I had some trouble rating this book-- it's between a 3.5 and 4, but closer to a four, which is what I ended up rating it.
Stitch by Samantha Durante is an amalgam of genres-- but I won't say more so the reader can discover its secrets without me ruining it. In brief, Alessa is a college student who has lost her family and is still dealing with the aftermath. In her sorority house, she sees a handsome ghost who she must learn more about. With her best friend Janie, Alessa goes further than she could imagine to connect with this ghost from the past.
There's a lot to like about this book. I love all of the twists and turns and the characters are very likeable. I was impressed with how I didn't see one of the big twists coming, and I thought it was nicely done. I like Alessa, the main character, and Janie, her best friend, was probably my favorite character.
That said, I had a couple of issues with this book. First, there is a lot of telling of backstory, rather than showing. The prose is the strongest when we are in the action. Because there is a lot of introspection, I wonder if this would have been better written in first person instead. Also, I wasn't thrilled about the change in perspective randomly in the middle. I think either it should have been upfront with alternating chapters between characters or just one character's viewpoint the whole time.
Overall, I think it was a solid first novel that with some tweaks could have been great.
Posted October 26, 2012
I've read plenty of books where things aren't always what they seem. I do manage to pick up little hints here or there that make me think. Stitch took me completely by surprise. Once settle in the book I thought, "Oh cool, a ghost story." Psssh, NOT. AT. ALL. This little surprise in the book picked up my imagination like never before.
As you have probably guessed, I adored the plot. For me, in the beginning, it felt slow and familiar. I had no problem falling into the character shoes, shadowing her every move searching for clues. It wasn't until the middle of the book where rapid flashback show up and I felt confused. What is going on? I continued to read cause to be quite honest, I was intrigued. I kept reading till it was revealed. O.M.G. I applaud Ms. Durante for amazing pulling a fast one over me. I did not even think that, that what it is. It never crossed my mind that it wasn't all what it seemed. I am quite pleased with this revelation.
The love interest for me is okay. I did want more, but since the reader is fooled in the beginning of the story, we don't get much romance. For now, it just back round information and the building up to the romance. Still, I enjoyed watching the two characters fall in love all over again. I'm excited to see now, (that all is on the open) exactly where their love and relationship will go.
Now your probably wondering, what is this chick talking about. If you give this book a chance and read it, be forewarned that you are being played (in a good way) and that the ending will definitely take your breathe away.
Stitch delivers a fantastic start to an amazing series. Every calculated move, leads the reader to a much more thrilling story. Stitch hits the mark when it comes to originality in YA. Packed with ambition, inventive story, Stitch is impressive!
Posted October 13, 2012
Alessa is trying to study but her mind keeps wandering back to the young male ghost in her sorority house. She hasn't been able to pull up any useful information on his history yet. Between that fixation and the reoccurring nightmares, her sleep and social life along with school work are suffering. She thinks her reaction to the ghost is curious, the severe feelings she feels and some connection between them. Alessa starts researching her sorority house to learn who he was, with the leads her sorority sister Janie finds. The visions and feelings from the ghost become stronger with each visit, until finally they both see each other. When Alessa's world, as she knows it, becomes more and more suspicious, she might learn her nightmares could be more real than she realizes. The nightmares involving her ghost and a few others. Deep down Alessa's subconsciousness knows the truth and her feelings spark from it. But what she learns about her school will shock her.
Alessa seems like a strong girl that's had some bad things happen to her. Her parents died when she was in high school, she finished, barely, and found a college that would except her marred grades. She's strong and carries on. But then you learn more about Alessa than I ever thought possible, and see how she has learned to stand on her own two legs and gets through for others. What has spared her to carry on and be stronger. And deep feelings she holds for a few very special people. We then meet Isaac, and he sounds like a wonderful curious boy of one hundred years past. Then everything changes.
The story starts with a preface, which made me rather curious. I have questions that are stirred up by this, and wonder what has happened. Then in the first chapter there's a hint that maybe Alessa's nightmares are of the preface happening, and others after this. For me the book had a slow beginning. We learn of Alessa and her college, her history, and her infatuation with the blue eyed ghost she sees. I would say about the first ninety pages where slow reading for me, an introduction more than anything. I felt like there were repeats in one section of telling me the emotional drain, exhaustion, and all emotions flooding Alessa when she sees the ghost. When Alessa was out posting flyers, it felt to drag some. But all this is to get the feeling of a setting a stage.
Suddenly! The story took off flying for me. We got into more of Alessa and Isaac's story and getting the ghost and person together. I was hooked. The dreams of a place not so found, and dreams of the two together -- even though one hundred years apart in time. We see more to this world as it opens up to us with the characters and what is really going on. Yes, I was hooked and had to read through the story to see what happened and where we ended up.
This book had a feel that reminded me of the movie The Lake House, not from letters going back and forth but from seeing the story of present and past between Alessa and Isaac, and that there is a connection, maybe even a love there.
This is a young adult read, and I think a very good one. There is a touch of love, not only from a boyfriend/girlfriend aspect (which is later in the book), but of the family and how that connection can always carry through strong. There's no swearing or sexual content, which is refreshing to read.
We get the glimpse of a dystopian world that I hope we see more of in the coming books. I will say in the end
Posted September 16, 2012
Stitch wasn't at all what I had expected. So much about this story surprised me. Samantha Durante weaved a wonderful a tale of a girl whose life isn't as it seems.
Alessa just lost her parents in a car accident and let her senior year of high school slip to the back burner. She once had aspirations to go to a great college, but she is stuck going to a school that just barely accepted her less than spectacular grades from high school. Upon starting classes she is accepted into the Zeta Epsilon Pi sorority house where she begins to see a ghost. Little does she know that nothing is as it seems and she is about to unravel the truth.
I liked Alessa. She was persistent and found a new focus away from her parents accident. Her best friend, Janie is her rock. She makes herself available to Alessa whenever an ear needs to be lent and she is supportive of her choices.
The plot of this story isn't like anything else I've read. It is a dystopian with a huge twist that took me by surprise. While I felt the story was slow at times, the ending made up for it. Samantha Durante wrote the story with a slow and steady burn leading up to the climax that raced to the end. The characters were well developed and each had their own back story that slowly came to light.
Review originally posted at Doodle's Book Blog
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.
Overall, Stitch was well though out and unique. If you are a fan of dystopian novels, this one is a must read!
Posted September 13, 2012
¿¿¿As we begin the prologue we are bombarded with endless questions, leaving us hanging and desperate to find out more and really begin the novel. Questions like, is it her? Where is she? and has this happened yet? leaves us on the edge of our seat as we enter the book hungrily searching for answers.
When we start the novel we find ourselves at the university. Things aren't quite as we were expecting, it starts out slow like just your average YA novel about a girl going to university, which is the only reason it is brought down to a rating of 4.5. We wonder when it will start to get interesting (well we were promised with a whole mix of popular genres) until BOOM! the paranormal romance appears. Ahh intriguing a ghost, ahem sexy ghost.
As she goes through university with her best friend, we wonder what the university holds. We see cameras everywhere, yet are they really there for the students protection? especially seeing as there are more than what there should be. Try thinking maybe prison security? We experience Alessa's dedication to find out who the ghost is, as well as why he is haunting her. Also, the regular university experiences come into play as well, the gorgeous boy that everyone fans over, but likes the protagonist. In some situations like this, we wonder why Alessa is so connected to the ghost and why she feels so strongly about him and what happens in her life can be effected by the mere thought of him.
Hmmm, seems like your normal, seemingly average university cross paranormal romance story... until the dystopian sci-fi comes in. Everything from there changes, the pace quickens, the plot thickens and we get pulled deeper into the book by this mere thread (hahaha word 'thread' sits well with the novel, read and you'll understand). As the dystopian kicks in and we realise as we come to our senses, we are left shocked, just like Alessa as she finds out. There are no words to describe the feeling that takes place, you do not expect it at all (applause to Samantha, I am gobsmacked). As everything starts to sink in and Alessa 'learns' the truth, we too get acquainted with the past and what has happened along with her.We become part of Alessa by this happening, as we realise exactly what happened and what is going to happen to be able to fix everything.
We feverishly go through the end of the novel, and we realise that the story has only just begun as we finish the story and crave for more. (Especially from the teaser from the second novel, Shudder, in the back of this one). I haven't seen a cliffhanger like this one in a while, one that leaves you desperate. Although, on another note. I believe that if you got rid of the second paragraph to the blurb it will be a lot more intriguing and won't spoil the rush the dystopian side of the novel gives you. ¿¿
Posted September 12, 2012
Samantha Durante uniquely portrays a dystopian society with futuristic and science-fictional elements. Stitch comes as a highly recommended novel with a carefully constructed plot and setting. The story is written at a steady pace, even when developing events bring central character, Alessa Khole, to a pool of life-altering revelations.
Durante lulls readers into a sense of relative normality with the story's opening and focus on Alessa's unusual predicament. Alessa is living the life of a college freshman. Everything is normal except for the vision of a young man she sees from time to time in her sorority home. She believes she's seeing a ghost and comes to learn his name, Isaac. Despite the impossibilities of her situation Alessa can't shake the feeling that she knows him, or that there's a way to communicate with him.
The intricately crafted story allows readers to learn everything needed to understand the purely imaginative world proposed. There are subtle hints from the very beginning that all is not as it seems and Durante expertly executes the characters' actions and reactions to create a strong, entertaining plot filled with mystery, romance, and danger. Stitch is a beginning to savor, and Durante, an author from which more wonderful stories are to be expected!
Originally posted on Lovey Dovey Books
*Novel provided in exchange for an honest review and blog tour purposes*
Posted September 10, 2012
I was riveted by Stitch!
Did I enjoy this book: I really enjoyed this book. I was riveted by Stitch...glued to my Kindle until the very end. If you haven't guessed it, I read every free chance I had.
When this book started, I thought it was a ghost story with time travel and a love story to boot. Boy was I wrong!! (I don't usually read the book blurb immediately before diving into a book. I do read the blurb before accepting a review request...but there is a lot of time and books between that request and reading the book. So, I tend to forget the blurb. Makes the book all the more interesting in my opinion.)
This book had some twists that I could never have imagined! I loved it and Stitch kept me on my toes. There were also some great visuals. The author didn't over explain anything which could have easily been done in this book. Everything was great.
I felt so sad for Alessa and her "past." I wanted her to succeed, even more so once I found out what was actually going on. Isaac was a fantastic love interest and he made a great ghost. Joe played a small but vital role in this book. Janie...oh, Janie...was an awesome character! I so didn't see that twist coming AT ALL!
I cannot wait for the next book to come out. I have to know what happens next...I have to know!
Would I recommend it: I would definitely recommend this book!
Will I read it again: I may not but I will definitely read book 2, Shudder.
Posted September 8, 2012
I LOVED this book so much! It had a little bit of everything; romance, paranormal, sci-fi, mystery. For having blended so many genres together it flowed really well. It's amazingly well written. The characters are very likable. Their pain, sadness and torment is empathetic in a very substantial way. I felt a tightness in my chest many times while reading this book. It was a really amazing journey, one in which I look forward to continuing with the second book of the series!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 4, 2012
I want to thank the author, Samantha Durante, for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. I also want to thank her for allowing me to participate in her blog tour for this book, it's truly an honor.
Blurb from Goodreads:
Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa's body screams at her to run... but yet she's powerless to move.
Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees - and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell - Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.
Because what Alessa hasn't figured out yet is that she's not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university's idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface...
The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results
I have to say that this book is NOTHING of what I expected it to be! To say that Samantha has created something totally new and interesting is not doing this book justice in the least. I don't normally read the blurb for a book that I am given to review, as I want to have more of a surprise and go in without any preconceived ideas. However, I did let myself peek at this one a bit and was excited to read a ghost story (as I haven't really read many of them in the YA genre). But, to my surprise, this ghost story turned out to be SO much more!
The first thing that drew me into this book was the cover. Wow, it's just totally amazing what the artist did with it. After having read the story, I can totally see how it relates to what the author is telling us. Before that, I was mostly just curious and loved the colors.
Then there is the main heroine. Alessa. Alessa is a college freshman struggling with the death of her parents. Struggling with making friends and becoming acclimated to her surroundings. She mostly keeps to herself, except for interactions she has with her friend Janie, who turns out to be so much more than you could possibly imagine. To top it all off, Alessa is seeing a ghost, and a handsome ghost at that. She struggles with finding out who he is and why he might be haunting her. She has and extreme pull to him, but she can't explain why. Well, I don't want to spoil why for you, but let's just say that he's not someone she doesn't know!
Then we get some of the story from Issac's POV (he is the ghost after all). He is struggling with seeing the apparition of a young woman he has never met. He wonders why she is appearing to him and what message she has for him that is so important. He also feels out of place in his world, which is 100 years before our modern day. He feels like he is meant for so much more, but cannot imagine why that would be since he spent his life growing up on his family's land.
There were a few things that bothered me about this book. First off the alternating POVs were not traditional at all. One chapter would be Issac, then the next three would be Alessa, then it would jump back to Issac. There was no consistency and this made for quite a choppy read. In addition, the flashbacks jumped around a lot and I often felt like I wasn't sure where I was in the story. And the characters just kept getting older and older in the book until they are finally into their twenties, and I was not sure how it even happened! It might behove the author to label the chapters with the characters name or perhaps even include a date. Another problem I had was not feeling a connection to any of the characters through most of the book. In the last quarter of the book, I was finally able to connect and understand the need for the characters to go where they were going, but before that I just felt like the book jumped around a lot. Another item that concerned me is a ton of description in the book. Now, I usually like description, as it puts me in the scene and makes me feel like I am right there with the character. However, I don't need to know every time the character slides her leg into a pair of pants, pops open a bottle to take a drink of water or eats an apple. It was too much and made me feel like the author was trying to stretch out the chapters. It got to be annoying after a while and made me feel like I wanted to skim the chapter rather than stick with it (tho in the end I did stick with it because I just can't bring myself to skim a book as I know I'll miss something important).
The twists and turns this book takes, from ghost story, to time travel to dystopian are something you would not otherwise see coming. It was a total surprise to me! I do have to say that it wasn't until about 1/2 way through the book that I was really interested in what I was seeing. Before that, it just feel like it was trolling along. However, I was happy that I stuck it out to see the outcome.
I am interested to see where the author takes the next book, as the characters are much older now and I am not sure it will still be considered YA, perhaps more NA. I can foresee this possibly being a problem as to how to classify this trilogy, unless the author chooses to jump back and give us more of a background that leads up to how the characters are placed in their predicament in the first place.
I again want to thank Samantha for providing me with a copy of her novel. 3 out of 5 stars from me.
Posted August 18, 2012
Stitch is one of those books that takes you all over the place. Right
when I thought it was going one way, suddenly a new twist appears taking
me in a completely different direction. Some might think that's
confusing but in this case, it was masterfully written. The story itself
was shocking at times (like shivers down your spine...in a good way).
This world is definitely dystopian but takes a look at the middle,
working class of people, and the "brainwashing" for lack of
better terms that happens to them. I won't lie when I say the idea of
turning into a completely different person, being "stitched,"
freaked me out but I kept reading anyway. Alright, the characters,
Alessa and Isaac: I loved them. For starters, Alessa is older than Isaac
(think of all the YA books you've read where the guy is older, sometimes
by a century or two). It's not a huge difference but it's there, and she
wasn't falling all over him because she was originally in love with
someone else (you'll just have to read it to find out). Finally, these
two characters came off as very real. Sometimes characters can be
over-the-top or too perfect, but Alessa and Isaac are very human, with
flaws and conflicts like anyone else. This book is filled with twists
and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat, supported by wonderful
descriptions and likable characters. I recommend this for anyone who's a
fan of dystopian and/or mystery, or anyone looking for a great book. Be
ready to be enthralled but don't get "stitched."
Posted October 20, 2012
No text was provided for this review.
Posted October 14, 2012
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Posted October 24, 2012
No text was provided for this review.