Review: Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board

June 28, 2013 book review 8

Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board by Zoe Aarsen

Release Date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Lovestruck Literary
Series: Weeping Willow High #1
Pages: 389

McKenna Brady thinks her junior year of high school is going to be the best ever when she’s welcomed into the elite group of popular girls at Weeping Willow High School led by blond, gorgeous Olivia Richmond.

Prior to junior year, McKenna was known in her small town as the girl whose twin sister died in a tragic house fire, and she’s overjoyed at the prospect of redefining her identity. She has a date to the Homecoming dance with Olivia’s handsome older brother, and a good chance of being elected to student council. For the first time since McKenna’s parents divorced, things are looking up.

But everything changes the night of Olivia’s Sweet Sixteen sleepover birthday party. Hannah, the shy, mysterious new girl in town, suggests that the girls play a scary game called Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board, during which Hannah makes up elaborate stories about the future ways in which beautiful Olivia, brassy Candace, and athletic Mischa will die. The game unsettles McKenna because she’s already escaped death once in her life, but she doesn’t want to ruin her friends’ fun. It’s only a game, she reminds herself.

But it doesn’t seem like a harmless game a week later when Olivia dies unexpectedly in a violent car crash, exactly as Hannah predicted. And something begins haunting McKenna’s bedroom at night, leaving her clues that all seem to point to Hannah. McKenna enlists the help of her cute next-door neighbor Trey in finding out exactly what kind of curse Hannah has put on all of the popular girls in the junior class.

As Hannah rises to popularity and seemingly steps into the life Olivia left unfinished, McKenna and Trey know they only have a limited amount of time to bring an end to Hannah’s game before more lives are lost.

I was totally excited when I got that email at 2 AM saying I won a copy of LIGHT AS A FEATHER, STIFF AS A BOARD in the GR giveaway. I never win anything and this book’s summary had me itching to read it. A group of girls play Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board and then they start dying, exactly as predicted? Count me in! My friends and I used to play this when we were in elementary school. Bound and determined to lift up the girl lying down. It never worked. Ever.

LIGHT AS A FEATHER, STIFF AS A BOARD follows McKenna during the beginning of her junior year. Over the summer she lost a lot of weight and has been accepted into the “it” group, consisting of Olivia, Candace, Mischa, and the new girl, Hannah. While bored at a slumber party for Olivia’s birthday, Hannah suggested they play that supernatural game. Hannah goes into graphic detail about Olivia, Candace, and Mischa’s death. A week later, Olivia is the first one dead. She died exactly as Hannah had predicted. What started out as a fun game, has turned McKenna, Candace, and Mischa’s life upside down. They just know Hannah has something to do with it and are determined to break the curse before the next girl winds up dead.

The first thing I noticed about this book was the font. Small print, single spaced, almost 400 pages long. I had a feeling the book was going to be good but was worried about how much reading was actually going to be required. The first couple of chapters start off in the present, with McKenna reminiscing about the past events of Olivia’s slumber party, that led to the current circumstances. It was a bit confusing but once we were at the present time, for good, it was all good. Aarsen’s writing was very fluid and spot on, portraying the dynamics of high school perfectly. The characters were all unique and kept my interest while reading. I really enjoyed McKenna. She knew right from the get go that something was peculiar about Hannah. Even though she had only been friends with the popular girls for 2 weeks, she was very loyal to them and did whatever was necessary to stop the curse they all thought Hannah had brought upon them.

The plot was fantastic and had me eagerly reading to find out more. I was concerned about the characters and wanted to make sure the curse of playing LaaF, SaaB was brought to an end. The paranormal happenings that took place had me thoroughly freaked out but not wanting to set the book down. I always ended up getting to these parts when I was home alone at night. Not the best timing! One thing that sort of irritated me was the insta-love between McKenna and her neighbor, Trey. They had been neighbors their whole life but never really talked. It seemed like after 3 short conversations, they both were head over heels and making moves on one another. Next thing you know, boyfriend and girlfriend. The relationship didn’t exactly blossom. It just happened. Considering how they basically knew nothing of each other, despite living next door, this insta-love confused me. Thankfully, this was just a subplot and did not end up consuming the whole story. Aarsen stayed true to the plot summary, two kids on a mission to stop whatever evil was threatening their friends. A perfect dose of romance here and there. 🙂

While I did find that the novel dragged a bit during the beginning, I quickly became completely engrossed in this paranormal novel. The characters were enjoyable, realistic, and never let their guard down. Aarsen keeps you on your toes, dying to know what exactly would happen next. The ending is one of those “NO. You gotta be kidding me!” endings where the reader is left with a great plot twist, not knowing its implications until the next installment. I can’t wait to see what happens next! Filled with drama, mystery, determination, and hair raising moments, LIGHT AS A FEATHER, STIFF AS A BOARD is an excellent novel that all paranormal fans would enjoy!

I received a finished copy from the publisher through a Goodreads FirstReads giveaway.

4 Thought Clouds!


8 Responses to “Review: Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board”

  1. Bellas Shelf

    I loved this game as a kid! Although it never worked for us 🙁
    Then it became popular again when The Craft came out. Again still didnt work .lolz.
    This book sounds delightfully scary and fun all at once! I love stories like this one.
    Congrats on winning it! I NEVER win anything either 🙁
    Not on Goodreads anyways.
    I did win a book via Rafflecopter. Its a blog tour for “Tarnish” so I am excited to receive it in the mail.

    • Christine P

      It was exactly that! It was fun, mysterious, and scary all at the same time. I definitely recommend it 🙂

      I’ve only ever won two books from GR, out of the 500 I’ve entered haha. Congrats on winning a rafflcopter giveaway!! I’ve never won any of those. Too many people enter 🙁 TARNISH looks like a great book! Can’t wait to see what you think of it 🙂

  2. Cait

    Oooh, congrats for winning it! (I seem to win e-copies, but never hard-copies. *shrugs*) I LOVE the sound of the blurb and anything with 4-stars is enough to intrigue me. I’m off to mark this on Goodreads. Insta-love is a bit concerning though. It seems like cheating-writing to me. 😛

    • Christine P

      Haha I love the way you put it. It IS like cheating! It’s like some authors don’t want to take the time to properly develop a relationship. But don’t worry, though! Despite the whole insta-love thing, their relationship is in the background. They are way too devoted to figuring out how to stop Hannah to get all lovely dovey all the time 🙂

  3. Julia :)

    I remember playing this game at sleepovers when I was a kid too! It was always so much fun. I’ve never heard of this book before, but now I am totally intrigued. I am all for mystery thrillers! Thanks for the great review! Off to add this one to my TBR list. 😀

    Julia @ That Hapa Chick

    • Christine P

      Did it ever work for you?? McKenna’s father is a psychiatrist and says it works because the chanting puts a hypnosis on everyone. I have no idea if that’s actually true or not but it’s an interesting theory! I hope you get a chance to read it, it was a great mystery thriller!!

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