The Telling was one of those books that I had been drawn to since I first heard it was coming out, way back in the beginning of the year. The cover and the title both sounded downright creepy (have you seen that cover? It’s stunning, and it also connects so well with the book), and the synopsis makes it sound so deliciously terrifying that I knew it was going to be a delight to read.
Lana spent a good portion of her life being a quiet girl with not much to say, dealing with rumors that surfaced about her and her step-brother, Ben. She and Ben were incredibly close, and since Ben was a popular guy who did what he wanted and made the most of his life, people talked about him. And Lana. Only Lana stayed in Ben’s shadow, never letting herself react or show that she cared.
“There’s space between what you see and what I feel. In my experience there’s usually a line that separates what people choose to show the world and what they keep hidden.”
Well, when Ben is brutally murdered one evening, Lana is crushed, even though the circumstances around his death are suspicious. Going through the next few weeks in a daze, Lana finds herself spending time with not only her best friend Willa, but the group of popular kids in the school, too. Although she still feels like an outsider, she tries to blend in by acting braver and being more outgoing.
However, when at the spring one afternoon swimming with her new friends, Lana and her group discover something gruesome on the bottom…the body of Ben’s ex-girlfriend, Maggie.
As things start to get more heated, and Lana and her group are the most likely suspects for Maggie’s death, which has been ruled a homicide, Lana will stop at nothing to figure out what really happened and get the blame off of her and her friends.
“‘Sometimes it’s safer not to care so much.'”
As Lana and her friends dig deeper, they start to uncover some things that might have been best left buried – and as more and more bad things happen, Lana has a hard time figuring out what to make of everything. Still dealing with her grief for Ben, she begins to hope against all hope that maybe, just maybe, Ben has come back from the dead to get revenge on everyone who has tormented Lana over the years. But that’s not possible, and rationally, she knows this. So digging for every clue she can find, she puts all the pieces together to find out who is committing so many murders…and to try and stop it before she is next.
When I first picked up this book, I was excited about everything – the cover, the story, the characters – and for the first time in a long time, a YA thriller that I read actually lived up to my expectations. It’s fair to say that after reading this, Alexandra Sirowy has definitely become a favorite author.
I was a bit skeptical, because a lot of YA thrillers that try to deal with deep subject matter usually end up falling short, but wow…this really was a fantastic read, from the first page to the last. The characters were all so well developed that I had a really hard time even choosing a favorite. They all had backstories and brought so much to the book, that the characters alone made it a great read.
If you’re expecting this to be a horror novel, it isn’t – but it did have a lot of creepy elements and a writing style that made those elements pop right off the page and gave me some spine-tingling shivers as I read.
And that ending? I did NOT expect that. Wow. What a twist.
Alexandra Sirowy’s The Telling is a creepy tale that will leave you questioning your own sanity and what you believe in. It’s a page turning thriller that you won’t be able to put down, reading well into the night, even though you’re biting your nails and desperately wondering if fairy tales really can come alive.
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About the Author
Alexandra Sirowy was born in Northern California and grew up in Providence, Rhode Island and the San Francisco Bay Area. She attended a women’s college as an undergraduate and has a graduate degree in International Studies. She lives in Northern California with her husband. Visit her at alexandrasirowy.com.
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Excerpt and Audio Sample
Want to check out The Telling? Check out an excerpt and audio sample here and fall in love with Alexandra Sirowy’s creepy novel!