***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
Tell the Story to Its End is a hauntingly creepy novel that will stay with you long after you have turned the last pages. The mesmerizing writing will keep you flipping pages and the way the story is structured will make you anxious to know more. Most of all though, the main character is going to make you want to curl up in a ball and cry because you want to protect him from all of his bad choices but you cannot. After all, he is just a boy looking for the truth. He is surrounded by adults who won't give it to him and is surrounded by strangers who know more about what is going on in his life than he does. So he befriends Eren. Eren who lives in the attic. Although lives is perhaps not the right word. And perhaps Eren isn't even a who so much as a thing. A thing that lives on stories.
Is Eren enough? Will Eren's truths draw Oli in beyond a point of no return? Will Oli turn into another story to be consumed by Eren? Is Oli destined to be doomed? You may need to read this book to find out.
I will let these quotes speak for the story and perhaps draw you in (WHICH IS WHY I CHOSE THEM.) I apologize in advance for the graphics not being amazing. I haven't messed around with Photoshop in years but thought I'd step outside of my comfort zone for this book! HAPPY HALLOWEEN FOLKS, maybe you'll choose this book to keep you company on this dark holiday. *cue evil laughter*
Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
This was an interesting novel and I found that I enjoyed it more when I sat back and read it instead of trying to scrutinize the details within the story. I find sometimes that spending too much time examining the particulars of a story takes away from a good read and this novel is one that falls into that category. The story opens up with Oli and his mother returning to his mother’s childhood home which his uncle and aunt now reside in. The plan is for his father to join them but there are countless delays centering on his career which later amount to bigger issues. This three-story house has ample amount of room for the three of them but Oli soon discovers there is someone else living in the attic. Oli’s summer vacation just got interesting. Oli cannot believe his discovery and like Oli, I also begin to wonder if this being is real or is a part of his imagination. Eren is massive with sharp claws and velvet-like wings. The author gives him creative abilities and his speech leaves Oli frustrated as nothing comes out plain and simple. Oli screams at Eren to tell him what he wants to know but Eren has his own of doing things and he will change for Oli. Eren needs Oli to survive, but there is only so much Oli can give to him. It was an entertaining read and I enjoyed reading Oli’s thoughts.
I received a copy from NetGalley and St. Martin Griffin in exchange for an honest review.
‘Stories are the truth beyond the flat, stone world,’ he says. ‘There’s more fire inside the engine than the wheels. That’s what it is.’
‘I’m cold,’ I say.
‘The world turns on its axis, but people turn on their souls. Things you can’t see, boy, support what you can.’
‘We tell stories to fly, you said.’
Is he proud of me? I hope so. I want him to be.
When Oli is uprooted from his home in London and taken on an impromptu vacation to stay at his aunt and uncle’s house, he is confused. Why did they have to leave so suddenly and to visit a relative whom he has never met? Why is his mother acting so nervous, what is she hiding? And where is his dad?
Despite what his family tells him, Oli knows this isn’t just a regular vacation; something has happened, something big, and no one wants him to find out what it is. But that isn’t the only strange thing.
There’s also Eren.
Eren, the strange, dark creature with the hoarse voice and ragged wings. Eren, that lives in this house, in the hatch above Oli’s bed. Eren, that’s always watching, always whispering…
The book is about stories and about their power.
I find it difficult to find fault with Eren, which so much reminded me of David Almond’sSkellig as well as Neil Gaiman’s writing style when I first started it, but which asserted its own presence quickly and enveloped me within its stories, always so many stories. The book is very well written and really engaging, to the point that I can confidently say that it didn’t bore me for a moment; I was never tempted to put the book down and go and do something else. And it isn’t only for children; as the preface is quick to tell you:
This is a story about storytelling.
It’s not for children any more than it’s for adults. This is a story for readers and dreamers – for people who know that there’s a wolf in every story and darkness in every dream, just as much as there are heroes and magic.
There are also illustrations in the book, which is always a welcome touch – more books need pictures, in my opinion. These are vague, almost dreamlike, and black and white, helping to set the eerie tone of the story and the fact that the book, the story Oli tells, is just that – a story in itself.
We are all stories.
Every chapter begins with a short dialogue between Oli and Eren, and these are set aside from the rest of the narrative, keeping the feeling of unease building as they hint at a missing piece of Oli’s story and Eren’s motivations.
In the same way that the book will envelope you as you read it, so Eren keeps drawing Oli back to him: even when the thought of the creature terrifies the boy, he keeps coming back. The fantasy of Eren’s stories is an addictive diversion from Oli’s own life, which is filled with stories far more stark and sombre. What is Oli’s mother keeping from him? Why does he get strange looks from people he doesn’t know as he wanders through this nowhere place, this small country town? Where is his dad?
To Oli, Eren is the fantastic, the unseen, the shadow lurking just out of sight – and he’s also his teacher and his escape. But at what cost?
As well as the spine-tinglingly sinister and ambiguous Eren, Oli meets Em and Takeru, a couple of local kids with their own stories and secrets. The interactions between the three are some of my favourite parts of Eren, and it is very interesting to read how the kids handle and react to the separate world of the grown-ups.
I would recommend this book in a heartbeat. If you like stories, fantasy, fairy tales and secrets, then pick up Eren – you won’t be disappointed.
Tell the story to its end.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.