The Moment Collector (2014) (Hachette Children's Books)
Jodi Lynn Anderson
Genre: young adult
Young adult RBC 2014: A book you heard about online
Maggie is the new girl in the tiny town of Gill Creek. Her mother has had to accept a job in town after losing her job in Chicago, and her father gave up his several years ago when he took the decision to home-school her. Now, Maggie is struggling to adapt to life at 208 Water Street, their old, supposedly haunted house. Luckily, she has an instant friend in her closest neighbour Pauline and Liam, the boy who loves her.
Someone is killing teenage girls across the county, making their deaths look like drownings. At the same time, a ghost is haunting Maggie’s new house and for some inexplicable reason, she’s drawn to watch over the three teenagers. As she watches over the lives and loves of Maggie, Pauline and Liam, she desperately knows she needs to protect them all from the impending tragedy that’s about to hit. But there’s one memory lurking, evading her grasp that is preventing her from seeing clearly what will happen and how to stop it …
I’m no stranger to Jodi Lynn Anderson. I loved her Peaches series (Peaches, The Secrets of Peaches and Love and Peaches), but the last I read was probably 5 years ago. In comparison, TMC wasn’t quite what I expected. There were some familiar elements, mainly in the beautiful writing style as evidenced by the sentence below that I loved:
“Pauline, who wore everything on her sleeve, couldn’t recognize that some people had feelings that were deep and still as glass.”
As good as this was, I found the style too ‘abstract’ for my liking – a term I use to describe that detachedness I find in books where I just can’t connect to the characters or writing. It was almost as if we weren’t meant to like Maggie, Pauline and Liam and I disliked the mysteriousness and tragedy of the ending – why can’t everything just have a happy ever after, damn it!
The cover is beautiful, though I didn’t quite understand the butterfly symbolism in the book. There were some enjoyable elements, but I was just left frustrated, as I am when I don’t get the ending or answers that I want! It’s unique in that the ghost is our narrator and although I dislike tragedy, it really was quite beautiful. I’m on the fence about this one, but this is certainly a popular and successful sub-genre in itself within young adult.
Image courtesy of Fantastic Fiction.