Stitch by Samantha Durante
Author: Samantha Durante Website|Twitter
Published: 30 July 2012
Format: Kindle e-book
Buy the paperback: Amazon
Buy the e-book: Kindle|Smashwords
Source: Kindle freebie
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa's body screams at her to run... but yet she's powerless to move.
Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees - and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell - Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.
This was another book I'd had on my Kindle for a while and ended up saving for the NA readathon. I was particularly interested in this one because it was billed as dystopia which is one of my favourite genres! And a lot of NA seems to be contemporary. Stitch follows Alessa, a college student struggling to focus on her studies because of the presence of a ghost who keeps appearing around her. Determined to get to the bottom of things, she starts researching the house she lives in and discovers more than she bargained for.
The start of Stitch certainly intrigued me. I liked the college setting and seeing how Alessa is adapting to life as a college student. She's living in her sorority house which I thought was a great environment for the story to take place in. It felt very much like a paranormal story during the beginning of the book. The only out-of-the-ordinary thing you see going on is this ghost that keeps popping up around Alessa. I was definitely grabbed by the concept, and how she seemed to be having feelings projected onto her by the ghost.
I felt the writing was a little clunky at first and so I struggled a bit with that. I think it was a case of a bit too much telling and not enough showing. In the opening chapters I thought there could have been more dialogue. There was a lot of exposition about Alessa and her life which went on for a while and I found my attention wandering slightly and hoping something exciting was coming up. I soon got used to the style and found the writing definitely improved throughout the book.
Stitch is mainly told from Alessa's POV but a little way into the story it shifts to Isaac's perpective; the mysterious ghost Alessa has been witnessing. I really enjoyed seeing the story from his angle as it certainly added more mystery to the whole thing! This is where the book took a bit of a genre twist and started feeling a bit more sci-fi. There's talk of time travel which I found really interesting and those bits of the story had me hooked.
It's about two thirds of the way into Stitch, however, when things take a huge turn. Talk about a plot twist! It's going to make the rest of the review very hard to write because I couldn't possibly give anything away, but that's when the book started to feel like the dystopia I was expecting. The second half of the book was definitely my favourite and had some brilliant ideas and great twists and conspiracies.
The problem I had with that plot twist was that it made Stitch feel like two books rather than one. The first and second half are so different that at times they just felt like completely separate stories. I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if the first half had been cut down significantly and you'd got to the twist sooner, because once you got there, a lot of the beginning became insignificant, or so I felt.
It's tough to talk about the characters without giving too much away, but I really liked Alessa as a main character, and I enjoyed learning more about Isaac and her friend Janie. Getting all of their backstory in the second half of the book was really enjoyable. I think the only problem I had in their development was that there were several moments where things were explained too quickly, through regained memories that were a little bit convenient. As a reader I found it hard to jump on board with things the characters were so fast to accept.
Stitch is definitely like no book I've read, and if you're looking for a different approach to NA (i.e not a contemporary romance and no sex!) then this is the perfect book to try out the category. It was a fascinating concept and the plot twist still has me reeling! I think because this was the first book in the series there's a lot of potential for future books. Now the world has been established it's certainly one I'm intrigued to know more about. There are a lot of things that were just touched upon in Stitch that I look forward to discovering more of in future books. The cliffhanger ending really had me wanting to carry on. I think there are some great ideas there, I just struggled with the way they were executed sometimes.
What to read next: Shudder by Samantha Durante is the next book in the trilogy
Books like this: Hope's Daughter by Melanie Cusick-Jones, Swipe by Evan Angler