I recieved an e-ARC copy in exchange for a honest review!
You will love this book if you like:
- young adult,
You should read it during:
- a cold and rainy evening in your bed.
- quick and short read,
- easy to understand and to follow,
- can be triggering for some people who can’t take violence (trigger warnings below).
TW: violence, blood, death, sex, racism (the author goes against it)
Vickie has always lived a quiet, ordinary life in an equally quiet and ordinary small town. Yet one fateful night a child turns up dead in the woods behind her house in a ritualistic slaughter. Vickie and her family are suddenly thrown into a national spotlight. But as the investigation unfolds, she begins to realize her family isn’t so ordinary after all. Evil is inching closer to those she holds dear and Vickie isn’t sure who she can ultimately trust.
I read this book last month, as I recieved it early from the publisher, and gave it 3/5 stars. If you aren’t aware of my rating system, it basically means that I enjoyed the book, would recommend it to people who love its genre but still thought it had some flaws— it was good, but didn’t meet all of my expectations.
Before starting this review, I must say that over the last few months my reading tastes have changed a lot. I am reading less and less YA books, not because I don’t like this genre anymore (I will always love it) but because I somehow felt the need to read more classics, and not for university this time but for me, and realised how much those books make me happy. So when I started reading Ultimate Sacrifice, I knew it wouldn’t be exactly what I wanted to read at the moment— plus, it is a horror story, which is far away from my comfort zone. I think that never in my life I have ever read a horror book. This is why I can’t totally judged the whole thing because it’s something that I don’t know about.
To cover the whole thing, I’ll start this review with the things I loved, and will then explain why I only gave it 3 stars by sharing what I think could have been done differently.
WHAT I LIKED
- The story
As soon as I opened the book, I was hooked. Indeed, you are immediatly immersed into the story and you want to know what is happening and what happened. So you keep reading, hoping to finally understand the whole thing and overall, you aren’t disappointed. I personally read this book in one setting, in less than two hours, and it isn’t because I am a fast reader (well, there’s some of that) but because you just can’t stop reading. It’s not the kind of book that you can put down and pick up later— the whole plot makes you feel like you need to keep reading, as if you could save the main character from all of this.
- The main character
As I said, I felt the need to save the main character, Vickie, from all that was happening. In fact, I truly cared about her, which doesn’t happen a lot with me. Vickie is a young and nice girl, and I started to be scared for her from the beggining. She was only sweet, pure and strong— honestly, I couldn’t have gone through half the things she had to live. It felt good to actually care about her, for the story would have been hard to follow if I haven’t. She was the reason I kept reading and loved this book.
- The writing style and length
I am not gonna lie, it was pretty simple. But, as a matter of fact, it worked here. If the writing style would have been heavy, I would have simply gave up— the story was hard enough by itself. However, it was easy to follow and to understand. As I said, you were immersed in the story the minute you start reading the book and the fact that the author was explaining the whole thing with simple words, brief sentences and short paragraphs made the whole thing more enjoyable. It also makes you want to keep reading the whole book in one setting, which is great for those who can’t bear the suspense (like me).
Plus, the book is quite short and that’s what also makes it such a short read. If you are looking for a quick read for Halloween, then definitely go for this one!
- The atmostphere
You may have seen the publisher promoting this book as “an episode of Supernatural” and, well, it is true. Of course, there’s no (gorgeous) demon hunters, nor a real investigation since we aren’t following the policemen but a teenage girl involved in the story. However, the whole atmosphere was close to the tvshow.
I must say that I was scared throughout the whole book, but that’s mostly because I am scared by anything. Still, the whole thing was mysterious and disturbing, and since it was such a quick read it truly felt as if you were watching an episode of a tvshow. Plus, it is so easy to read that you can picture everything that is happening quite easily in your head and the book really felt cinematographic.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE DIFFERENTLY
- Lack of development
Even though I loved how short it was, I still believe that the author could have developed more things in her novel, and add more depth or perspective to her characters. The whole thing somehow felt rushed for me, and I sometimes couldn’t understand the characters’ motivations. I know that it was part of the mystery but some characters weren’t described enough and made them instantly guilty to me. I wish they would have been all grey so that they would all have looked convicted.
Plus, I loved the fact that Vickie had a boyfriend who was black, even though their family was against it, but once again it wasn’t developed enough. Of course, the story wasn’t about it but I would have loved if this novel would have been disturbing in many ways: describing racism and violence against persons of colour could have add something to the plot and make the whole thing even more unsettling.
- The end
Of course, I won’t spoil it but I didn’t completly buy it. Why, you may asked. Well, because of all the things I just said: it felt rushed and many things weren’t explained. You can see that the author wanted to surprise us, and she did, but she did it way too much. When I finished it, I couldn’t believe it because it made no sense according to where the story was heading. Without making it too obvious, she still could have done it differently and make us suspect more people by letting us truly know everyone. We maybe could have had more point of views or maybe the author could have add flashbacks. Indeed, we knew practically nothing of the characters past and it seems impossible that everything was going so well before the whole thing happened. I wish the whole town would have been weird and every character would have had something strange about them; again, I wish the novel was disturbing in so many more ways, maybe something more subtle and psychological. Something that will make you truly scared and not only disgusted by what was happening.
If you love YA and horror stories, then this one is for you. It definitely is a quick and enjoyable read that I recommend for a Halloween morning reading. Even though it has its flaws, I still liked it and truly cared about the main character. I believe that this book wasn’t entirely for me even though I had a great time reading it, but can please many people out there!
Where to buy it