A review by Amanda.
I received a copy of Supervision for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. I would like to thank author Alison Stine for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Fifteen year old Esmè Wong used to be the first to raise her hand with the correct answer in all of her classes. She was dedicated and worked hard to keep the scholarship that she had earned to a prestigious private school in New York. After the death of their parents, Esmè is raised by her older sister, whom she calls The Firecracker. She becomes disinterested in school and has answered her teachers’ questions incorrectly often enough that her classmates have nicknamed her Miss Wrong. The only person Esmè relates to nowadays is fellow outcast Acid. When Acid stands her up after school one day, Esmè falls into despair. So when she sees a message spray-painted in a subway tunnel that reads “Acid Loves You” she decides to investigate, putting herself in danger and changing her life forever.
An accident and trouble with the police convince The Firecracker to send Esmè to live with their maternal grandmother in a small town in Pennsylvania. The moment she steps off the train, Esmè’s life is upended. First, her grandmother refuses to acknowledge her existence. Then, her classmates and teachers at her new school ignore her, running into her in the hallways and trying to sit in the seat she’s already occupying. Relief comes when she meets Clara and Tom, neighbors who seem friendly, if a bit strange. It’s not long before Esmè discovers a shocking truth about her new friends, and a century-old mystery that she is determined to solve.
Supervision was a quick, interesting read. The author does a decent job of keeping readers guessing, adding in clues and twists throughout. The story starts out slow, but readers will be drawn into the mystery almost immediately. I enjoyed the storytelling and the setup of the main plotline. The characters’ histories and connections were revealed slowly, and the author used timing and misdirection to her advantage. Parts of the story could have been better fleshed out, and there are supporting characters that I would have loved to know more about. My biggest issue with this book is that Esmè is difficult to like at first. She is resentful, sullen, and fits the “stereotypical” teenager a bit too well. In fact, all of the characters would benefit from more depth.
Overall, I enjoyed this story and will read more from this author.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars.
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Published by: HarperVoyager
Publication date: April 9th 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Something is wrong with Esmé.
Kicked out of school in New York, she’s sent to live with her grandmother in a small Appalachian town. But something is wrong with the grandmother Ez hasn’t seen for years; she leaves at midnight, carrying a big black bag. Something is wrong with her grandmother’s house, a decrepit mansion full of stray cats, stairs that lead to nowhere, beds that unmake themselves. Something is wrong in the town where a kid disappears every year, where a whistle sounds at night but no train arrives.
And something is wrong with the cute and friendly neighbor Ez’s age with black curls and ice-blue eyes: He’s dead.
Alison Stine’s first novel SUPERVISION will be released by Harper Voyager UK in 2015.
Also the author of three books of poetry: WAIT (University of Wisconsin Press, 2011), OHIO VIOLENCE (University of North Texas Press, 2009), and LOT OF MY SISTER (Kent State University Press, 2001). She has worked as an actor, an artist’s model, a high school teacher, and a professor. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Ohio University, and is an avid urban explorer.