Thursday, December 1, 2011

Review: Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne



Girl, Interrupted meets Beautiful Creatures in this fast-paced thriller

When sixteen-year-old Faye arrives at Holbrook Academy, she doesn’t expect to find herself exactly where she needs to be. After years of strange waking visions and nightmares, her only comfort the bones of dead animals, Faye is afraid she’s going crazy. Fast.

But her first night at Holbrook, she feels strangely connected to the school and the island it sits on, like she’s come home. She’s even made her first real friends, but odd things keep happening to them. Every morning they wake on the floors of their dorm rooms with their hands stained red.

Faye knows she’s the reason, but what does it all mean? The handsome Kel tries to help her unravel the mystery, but Faye is certain she can’t trust him; in fact, he may be trying to kill her—and the rest of the world too.

Rich, compelling writing will keep the pages turning in this riveting and tautly told psychological thriller. (Goodreads)

Book Details

Title: Harbinger
Author: Sara Wilson Etienne
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: February 2, 2012
ISBN-10: 0399256687
ISBN-13: 978-0399256684
Source: Author


I loved this book so much I don’t know where to start. Yes, I have said I loved a book before but you don’t understand I want to write the Harbinger sonnets, sing it love songs, and woo it until, Harbinger loves me back. Take another look at that cover, amazing right? You know how I am about covers! Harbinger totally lives up to its cover.

Once I started reading Harbinger I became so enveloped in the world that Ms. Wilson Etienne created. (Like to the point of being late for picking my kid up from school!) Holbrook Academy is a scary place! I don’t think I would have made it there. I could feel a treacherous doom building in the atmosphere from the start, keeping my intrigue peeked until the last page was tuned.

Faye is dropped off at Holbrook by her father to be rehabilitated, so that she can act like everyone else in society. At least that is the reason everyone has given her. I think anyone who has ever felt alone will enjoy Faye’s character. Faye is smart and kind, but she has this great fear that if she were to open up and show who she really is to anyone she will be left alone. Faye stole my heart while I was reading Harbinger, all the pain she had to feel was completely palpable to me.

The person that Faye wants to trust the most and is also the most confused by is Kel. Faye isn't the only one he had confused—Kel had me guessing too, whether he was good or evil, until toward the end of the book. Kel drove me crazy in the best kind of way because I wanted to love his character but I couldn’t decide if it was safe to. I so enjoyed all the things that Faye would discover about herself through her interactions with Kel.

I think what I liked best about Harbinger is that there were no skimable parts, every word had meaning. I was so wrapped-up in the suspense, I hung on to every word fearful I would miss something. I did not see the ending coming it was very much a surprise. That almost never happens to me!

Happy Reading,

Loved it! I want to know about everything this author writes.

Recommended For
Teen and up: There is some language, kissing, violence, and abuse.


  1. Oh my god this sounds incredible! I Love how you describe the world and how there is no fluff! I can't WAIT to read this one!!

    Xpresso Reads

  2. gahhhh i've been waiting for you to tell about this. this is probably one of the books i'm waiting to read more than anything. and like you, it's mostly that daggum cover. so pretty.

    but it sounds really really great too. and now i'm DYING for it. wow wow wowweee.

    so glad you liked it, because that means i'll probably like it too!

  3. This one is new to me, but it sounds really good! I love books that are set in boarding schools.

  4. Fantastic review! I loved this one too, what won me over were all of the in depth characters! :)

  5. So jealous!!! Sara is amazing and I can't wait to read this book!!!!

  6. @Kimberly SabatiniYeah, I will be honest...I still can't believe I got to read this early! So awesome!!!

  7. Great review! I'm definitely intrigued by this one now... I think I'm going to put it on my list! The best part? The relatable characters, and the way the heroine doesn't sound to be forced into, well, heroine-like qualities.

    Thanks a lot!

    Ron @ Stories of my life

  8. I'll look out for the book when it hits the shelves. :D


Thanks so much for the comment love!