ARC Review: The Leaf Reader by Emily Arsenault
The Leaf Reader by Emily Arsenault was just released this week and I would like to thank the publisher, Soho Teen for providing me a review copy through Edelweiss, which in no way influenced my honest opinion. Hope you check out my review & The Leaf Reader!
Category: Young Adult, Mystery
Publication: June 13th, 2017; Soho Teen
Like a contemporary take on Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle, Marnie Wells comes face-to-face with the occult, discovering she can tell the future by reading tea leaves.
Marnie Wells knows that she creeps people out. It’s not really her fault; her brother is always in trouble, and her grandmother, who’s been their guardian since Mom took off is… eccentric. So no one even bats an eye when Marnie finds an old tea-leaf-reading book and starts telling fortunes. The ceremony and symbols are weirdly soothing, but she knows and hopes everyone else does too that none of it s real.
Then basketball star Matt Cotrell asks for a reading. He’s been getting emails from someone claiming to be his best friend, Andrea Quinley, who disappeared and is presumed dead. Rumor has it Matt and Andrea were romantically involved, though they’d always denied it. A faint cloud of suspicion still hangs over Matt. But Marnie sees a kindred spirit: someone who, like her, is damaged by association.
Suddenly the readings seem real. And they re telling Marnie things about Matt that make him seem increasingly dangerous. But she can t shake her initial attraction to him. In fact, it s getting stronger. And that could turn out to be deadly.”
This book was not at all what I expected it to be. I mean, pieces were, but the overall story was so much better (and more suspenseful) than anticipated.
I suppose I’d been expecting something a bit more paranormal in feel. This had a bit of a psychic element, but definitely reads as a mystery/thriller. The tea reading just added a little special twist.
So, Marnie is…odd. She’s poor, comes from a strange family, but decided to embrace it. Hence the tea leaves readings. And initially, it’s just something fun to do. Something quirky. But, thanks to one repeat “customer” things all change. Matt asks for a reading and that’s when the weird things begin happening. Dreams about a fox. Snow. And there’s the other missing teen that no one is talking about.
At first, I really wasn’t too sure about the story. As I progressed, I did enjoy it more. I liked trying to pinpoint what exactly had gone on based upon the pieces of info Marnie and Matt were able to get. There were still so many holes. Interspersed were the fox dreams…and really, they added even more “huh?” moments throughout. Where was Andrea? Had Jimmy killed her? Or Matt? Or…someone else? There was so much information, but also not enough. I know it doesn’t make sense. But once you read it, you’ll understand. Then there’s the fact that I trusted no one—other than Marnie. Every character seemed shady.
And then…all is revealed. I definitely thought one part was quite underwhelming. I was expecting “fireworks” or at least some type of physical altercation. Instead, it was just “okay, done!” Some things were left hanging, but not in the way in which you require closure. It felt right considering how everything played out.
Overall, a great read for those who enjoy unraveling thrillers. Good for fans of The Female of the Species, One of Us is Lying, and Kimberly McCreight.