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review 2017-03-19 15:00
Sarah Review
Sarah - Teri Polen

Teri Polen’s Sarah is a pleasingly creepy young adult horror. Fans of Supernatural will be delighted with this book. If you’ve ever watched any of those typical high-school rom-coms/dramas where guys make a bet to trick a girl, and boo’d at the screen, you’ll enjoy Sarah. It’s a twisted take on a classic plot that will make horror fans cheer. This is the version they were waiting on.


Cain and his best friend Finn are good kids that both have their heads screwed on straight. Cain took on a lot of responsibility after his dad’s death, and that definitely made him grow up a bit. Finn, too, has had his share of problems. They could be the male version of Mary-Sues if Polen hadn’t written in some believable flaws. But they’re not perfect, and that makes all the difference. Quick tempers, wicked tongues, and Finn’s desire to needle every one around him means that at any given time, someone’s probably thinking about punching him. Or Cain. Or both. The rest of the characters are appropriately likable or detestable. Except for Lindsay. She’s a bit of a non-entity.


I liked that the author made a few salient points in Sarah about the mindset towards sexual assault. There was more than one conversation or interaction when I just sat back in my chair and sighed after reading it. It was utterly realistic. Teenagers are, as a rule of thumb, very selfish individuals, and it seems like jocks in particular excel in this. They think they can get away with anything, and/or that the world revolves around them. It’s behavior that’s either never corrected, or not corrected until it’s too late.


Hasn’t recent events proven that if a boy can score several touchdowns per game, who cares how many girls he assaults, right? We all know they were asking for it anyways. Or if adult males make enough money, they can do anything they want to girls, because they believe they are more important than the girls are. And these types of beliefs are constantly getting reinforced in today’s society.

It’s disturbing and disgusting and Teri Polen shows the reader a path to douche-hood that hundreds of young men start down every day.


I did, however, have one huge problem with Sarah. Sarah, herself. Well, her dialogue to be specific. For the most part, I liked her. I liked seeing the change. I puzzled over what, exactly, was going on with her. Yes, I thought she was vengeance-crazed ghost thing, but she was a fun vengeance-crazed ghost thing. Until she opened her mouth. Pretty much every time she started talking, it was like someone just hit the ‘off’ button on my interest in the story.


I understand that her background means that we could expect a certain amount of dialogue that seemed unusual for her age range. I was fully willing to accept that. But Sarah presented with lines that went between disturbingly formal and super-villain monolog. Luckily, her talkative scenes appear in bursts, so for most of the story it’s really not an issue.


Sarah is a book that takes a bit to get going, but overall it’s an easy, enjoyable creepy read. I was definitely hooked fairly early on, and read the book in two bursts over two days. It comes in at just under 200 pages, so it’s not something that demands a lot of your time. If you like horror, but don’t like it too gory or scary, this will probably be a great choice. Teri Polen did a pretty solid job.


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley for review consideration

Source: www.scifiandscary.com/sarah-review
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review 2017-01-07 04:11
NetGalley Review: Sarah
Sarah - Teri Polen

I received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review.


So what pulled me to this book was first off the cover, it just screams creepy and PICK ME UP. Second after reading the blurb I knew I needed to see if it was going to be as good as it seemed.


Now if you are easily afraid then this might not be the book for you. If you like a good ghost story with a mystery behind it, then pick this book up.


So this story is told through the p.o.v. being a teenage boy. Cain is a young teenager who has taken up the responsibility of taking care of his sister which I love how he reads to her every night, and his mom. Cain lives in a house where out of the blue his attic door opens and he feels a rush of cold air. Well we all know what that means. Though not only does he need to figure out what is going on with all the creepy stuffy he has a girlfriend who is a big snob. You can just tell that won't last long. 

With the help of his best friend Finn he starts looking into why his house maybe haunted and by who. When Cain finds out what exactly happened to Sarah he believes that they have to come clean but will they? 

As time goes on it seems that Sarah who is the ghost is getting powerful, maybe even powerful enough to take matters into her own hands. The way she died hands has you going oh man, justice needed to be served.

I have to say that Finn was my favorite character. With this witty humor and willingness to take care of his best friend he was pretty cool in my book. 

Not much else I can say on this book except that if you like ghost stories, pick this book up. I think this is a good read for maybe the older teenagers on up. I really like this author's writing that I will be looking for more of her work. 

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review 2016-12-09 00:00
Sarah - Teri Polen A few months back a girl Sarah was lead to a new house that was still under construction by these boys from her school. They told Sarah there was going to be a party at the construction site but when she arrived there was no one there but the four of them. Sarah soon learns that she has been had. The three boys have lured her there under false pretenses only to play a joke on her which results in her death.

Now a few months later a family has moved into the house where Sarah was killed. Cain, his mom and his little sister moved into the house after the death of his dad. They all needed a new place that didn’t hold all of their memories of his dad and besides his mom got a great deal on the house.

Cain runs into Sarah and learns what happen to in the house while it was still under construction and now she wants revenge against the guys who was responsible for her death. Cain agrees to help her until he learns the extinct that she plans to go with her revenge and then he wants no part of it but it is too late for Cain as he no longer has a say in the matter. Sarah has become stronger and is taking over Cain’s body to spy on the people who did her wrong. The thing is Cain does not know that she is doing this. It never crosses his mind what she is doing not even when he starts to lose parts of his day and then weeks at a time. Well not until his best friend Finn points it out to him.

Now Cain must try to stop Sarah anyway he can before she goes after his family and his friends. Cain is such a caring and loving person. He couldn’t do anything that might cause someone else hurt or pain. Can Cain stop Sarah before she harms his family and his friends? Or has Sarah become too strong for Cain to handle? Can he get his family out of the house before it is too late?

Once I started reading Sarah I couldn’t put it down. I think I was up all night reading into the wee hours of the morn. I just had to know what was going to happen next. When I was reading Sarah it was like I was watching a movie playing out in my head. While reading it I kept thinking of that movie Mama. Yeah I know there are quite a few differences between the two but that is what I kept seeing in my head at the time.

I think Sarah would be a great read for anyone who loves the supernatural and ghost stories or who just loves a good horror story. I can’t wait for the next book. There is going to be a next book right? Maybe?
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review 2016-12-05 14:59
Sarah - Teri Polen

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

Lord, this was so boring, I am glad I got through. I could have DNFed it, but I decided to continue in the hopes it would get better. Sadly, it never did. :|

So my expectations were quite high for this one, when I saw it on Netgalley I just clicked the button to read it immediately. The cover was amazing (I love The Ring (original of course) and a lot of other creepy Japanese horror which feature that kind of dead girl behaviour as the girl on the cover), and the blurb sounded amazing.

Sadly the real action didn't start until 20~% in, and the first murder took even longer. Yep. There were some scary scenes, well, scary. I wasn't that scared. More like I was rolling my eyes at all the standard horror clichés. Which sometimes work, but in this book it was just not working for me. It just felt it was put in there to make Sarah creepy or something. Oh my, cold air. Oh my, attic. Oh my, my cat is afraid. Oh my, insert something else cliché.

Sarah? I am sorry, was I supposed to feel sorry for her? Hahaha, or scared? Muahahaha. No. I wasn't scared or sad. The only thing I was.... was annoyed. Very annoyed. Instead of a vengeful ghost she felt like a little kid who didn't what they wanted. Or a mean girl who get wronged by the salesperson (I wanted the red high heeled shoes, not the pink ones, dear Lord can't you see pink isn't my colour?).
And yes, Sarah's situation was terrible, I felt sorry that she had to go through it and that she died because of a group of teenagers.
But really, I wasn't impressed with her as a ghost.
Oh yay, someone wants to help me, oh screw that I want to kill those guys, screw everything, I will just take your body as well. *rolls eyes*
I just wanted to have Sarah gone, exorcised and disappeared to the deeper parts of who knows where. Sadly, she just stuck around. :|
She even just went so far to threaten Cain, yeah girl, that is cool. The only guy who is trying to help you out and you treat him like shit. Yay, good job! And yes, I know, blablabla vengeful ghost, but really, she was pretty sane most of the time, she could even voice her problems, but this, destroying the one means to give you peace? Bad move.

Cain, meh, I am not sure what to think of him. He was a nice fellow, a good guy. But the whole Erin thing just took too long to finish. I just got annoyed with him so much that he wouldn't man up and be honest about it. Also in general the Cain character felt a bit disconnected. I am not sure how to explain, it is just a feeling I have during the book.

Finn was definitely my favourite character out of the book, along with Lindsey.

The ending, or well the part where they dig up the body? It was so melodramatic and silly. Sorry, I know, maybe not right, but it felt like reading out of a script.

Also I laughed quite hard when everything was said and done, and Cain was worrying about a network of evil ghosts. :P

Of course x and y happens. Gee, I have never seen this before in any movie. I knew right away that something like this would happen. It just seemed like the kind of book for it. And I was right. Oh lord, lord, lord. *rolls eyes*

Also that solution. *snort*Yeah, no, that is totally a good idea, and I am sure Cain's mom doesn't mind that happening. :P

I also didn't entirely get why Sarah would pop up now, all of the sudden. I mean, really? People have been living in this house for several months, nothing happened, and all of the sudden BOOO a ghost? Wow. Yeah, that sounds like the bad plot from something like Paranormal Witness (and I quite like PW, but some episodes just have bad plots).

And that ending. Oh my, I just laughed so hard. Sorry, was I supposed to feel afraid, or worried? Nah, I am just pissed that this is yet another cliché, and oh, hey of course she would go that route.

So yeah, not my book. Clichés everywhere. Meh characters. Bad, mean girl ghost. And ending that was just so eyeroll worthy. Boring story. Yeah, wouldn't recommend.

1 star for the cover, and also for the basic idea. If not for both of those it would have gotten even lower.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

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