Early Review: Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield

September 9, 2012 Review 5

*This title will be released on September 11, 2012*

Hanging by a Thread

by Sophie Littlefield

Genre: Paranormal YA|
Excerpt: YesBook Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Abigail| Source: NetGalley

  • Reading level: Ages 12 and up
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (September 11, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0385741049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385741040


Okay – A few good points, but with significant flaws. Library/swap/borrow if you want.

Sexual Content



Summer is the best part of the year in Winston, California, and the Fourth of July is the highlight of the season. But the perfect town Clare remembers has changed, and everyone is praying that this summer will be different from the last two—that this year’s Fourth of July festival won’t see one of their own vanish without a trace, leaving no leads and no suspects. The media are in a frenzy predicting a third disappearance, but the town depends on tourist dollars, so the residents of Winston are trying desperately to pretend nothing’s wrong.

And they’re not the only ones hiding something.

Clare, a seamstress who redesigns vintage clothing, has been blessed—or perhaps cursed—with a gift: she can see people’s pasts when she touches their clothes. When she stumbles across a denim jacket that once belonged to Amanda Stavros, last year’s Fourth of July victim, Clare sees her perfect town begin to come apart at the seams.

In a town where appearance means everything, how deep beneath the surface will Clare dig to uncover a murderer?


I’m accustomed to powerful, grab-you-by-the-heart-and-never-let-go stories from Sophie Littlefield.  The kind that resonate for weeks and weeks after reading.  Both the Banished and especially the Aftertime series rank among some of my favorite books ever.  So to say that I had high expectations for HANGING BY A THREAD, her new standalone about a girl who gets psychic visions from clothing, is putting it mildly.

HANGING BY A THREAD is a very different sort of story than I’m used to from Sophie.  It’s much quieter, much slower, and ultimately much less satisfying than her previous books. Essentially, the story is about a small town murder mystery.  Clare and her mother move back to the town they left years before and immediately Clare’s psychic gift sets her on the trail of a potential serial killer.  She starts poking in to the murders, questioning families, friends, and anyone suspected by the police including the local bad boy who was dating one of the victims.

Clare’s fascination with fashion leads to many detailed descriptions of clothes throughout the book, especially Clare’s own numerous outfits.  It did make Clare seem like a true fashion devotee, but it also slowed down an already slow book.  The beginning was extremely sleepy before the visions started and I probably would have stopped reading if this was any other author.  The pace did pick up once the leads and clues started piling up, but even then HANGING BY A THREAD isn’t that gripping of a story and the characters are fairly unmemorable.

I still have Sophie Littlefield on my auto-buy list, but I’ll be hoping for more stories like the awesome Aftertime series and less of the sleepy mysteries like HANGING BY A THREAD in the future.

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5 Responses to “Early Review: Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield”

  1. Kt.

    Once again, this rejyst proves how similar our tastes our tastes are. I’m a crazy big fan of Sophies’s Aftertime books, but this one just didn’t do it for me either.