Poignant, realistic, lonely and touching
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publisher: Orchard Books, UK
My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars
Releases: 7th August, 2014
The Moment Collector or The Vanishing Tree as it’s called across the pond is what I call a book which will cater to a group of elective readers. I’m not one of those people who call themselves a book critic and write highly critical review pointing out what was wrong with a particular scene or how it could have been done better. I’m a passionate reader who likes her books light with HEA, which helps me escape the tedium of the daily grind which is called life. Hence the blog name.
However, I liked The Moment Collector despite myself. This is not a book which everyone would like, especially a main stream YA reader will not enjoy it’s slow pace and the character building. Heck, I should be one of those people who shouldn’t have liked this book but the fact remains that I did.
Please don’t be fooled by the misleading blurb as this book is not a murder mystery. It provides for the eerie backdrop which was used to create an atmosphere of foreboding in the plot. The Moment collector starts a little confusingly with the random musings of s ghost who is watching from above as the world goes by. Enter Maggie, a city girl who has been forced to move to the Door County due to her parent’s recent redundancy. Maggie is a girl who is adjusting, understand and kind. She is determined not to cause problems for her parents as they are already troubled. That is what I liked about Maggie’s, could identify with her. She is not what anyone you’ll call weak but she will not be the one who will cry out for the injustice done to her as she doesn’t want to cause trouble for the people she loves in her life.
She makes friends with Pauline, the girl next door who is rich, beautiful, and fun and everything Maggie is not. Pauline has a childhood friend Liam who is in love with her but Pauline refuses to acknowledge it. Slowly as the plot unfolds and more girls go missing, a sense of panic spreads across the County and in this back drop, Maggie falls for Liam. She knows her feeling will never come to fruition but she still carries on.
I cannot say much more about the plot as it will be ruining it but what I can tell you that the way the characters were written, with their intrinsic flaws which made them what they were is what moves this story on. I hated what was going on in front of me and the author had a beautiful way of foreshadowing which keeps you guessing and thinking ‘surely not’ and bang it happen but it somehow still doesn’t lessen the impact.
It is a very character driven book and it these characters which pull the story forward. While Pauline may be classed as selfish and Liam a ‘good’ boy you can’t really fault them for making the choices they make. It was kind of inevitable from the start but it still broke my heart.
Why not a 5 star then you ask? Well, the first reason was I simply did not like Liam. Even if I say I cannot fault anyone, I still blame Liam as he is the one who actually makes a choice. Secondly the ending was unexpected and could have been avoided. IT did tie in with the narrative but overall I felt it was jarring and it made me sad. Really sad.
After all my musing I can assure you guys that The Moment Collector is a poignant, rich, character driven book which explores human nature of love, life choices and faults and it’s various nuances. It’s been a month since I read it and it somehow is still haunting me. I’d recommend it not just YA lovers but also adult readers and it is much more deeper than it appears on the surface.
ARC by Orchard Books, UK via NetGalley