Saturday, 20 July 2013

Charm and Strange by Stephanie Keuhn

Title: Charm and Strange
Author: Stephanie Keuhn
Published by: Electric Monkey
Publication date: 3rd June 2013
Pages: 272
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Hardback
Source: Review copy from the publisher

There are two sides to each of us. The charm...and the strange.

"Don't. Please don't say my name. You have no idea who I really am."

No one really knows who Andrew Winston Winters is. Least of all himself. He is part Win, a lonely teenager exiled to a remote boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts the whole world out, no matter the cost, because his darkest fear is of himself...of the wolfish predator within.

But he's also part Drew, the angry boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who, one fateful summer, was part of something so terrible it came close to destroying him.

"Only two people knew my secret. I saw them both die."

Usually in a review, I'll have the official summary of the book at the top, and then I'll go into the plot in more detail in my own words. But with this book, I can't do that I have no words. I can't explain it. So I'll jump straight in with my opinion.

The cover of this book is dark, mysterious, strange and a little bit creepy. It ties in perfectly with the story within, and it definitely made me intrigued!

'Charm and Strange' is a great title for this book, because it is charming and strange! It is very different to anything you will ever read. It is very noncommercial which is refreshing from all of the other books out in the world at the moment! I didn't dislike Charm and Strange, but I didn't love it either... this message I sent to Jack from The Book Stop this morning basically sums it up:

And then I found my words...

The book really makes you think, even after you have (sadly) turned the last page. It's such a powerful, sad and dark book and I couldn't bear to put it down. I know a lot of people have had mixed feelings about this book - you either love it, hate it, or have no idea where you stand and are left in silence, clutching the book to your chest, rocking back and forth. ...It's a psychological thriller, that's what it's meant to do, right?...

The writing is unique and compelling and I recommend it to people who like to read something different every now and then - especially for fans of John Green. It shows the main character, Drew, going through emotional turmoil to discover who he really is and it really opened my eyes to what some people go through. It's such an intriguing book and if any of you have read it, I would love to know your thoughts seeing as the book has received such diverse reviews! In some places it was a little confusing, but Jack (mentioned above) helped me understand some of it, luckily. For that reason, I give this 4/5!


  1. I'm glad you liked it! It's so different , and weird, and screwed up, it's hard to have an opinion about it at all. I can't even write my review yet! But I definitely think if you want a new and completely different reading experience, this book is for you. Great review Amber! :)

    1. I agree! It was so difficult to write this review; hopefully you'll have better luck. :)

  2. Sounds like a really interesting book!

  3. Fans of John Green? OMG GIMME I NEED THIS BOOK NOW. I love psychological thrillers so I think this will be right up my street The only book of that genre that I've read is The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Have you read that one? I recently finished it and nfejanvhsb wow it was amazing. Great review, Amber!

    1. I'll send it to you when I have more money, probably in August, if you want it?

      No I haven't read The Unbecoming but another psychological thriller I've read is Pretty Girl Thirteen by Liz Coley. It's SO GOOD!

      Thanks Zoe!

  4. That cover is seriously creepy. Like, I have to scroll down to get away from it. I've seen this title about but your review really makes me want to read it. I loved Pretty Girl 13 and this sounds equally disturbing. Definitely one I'll be looking out for now!

    1. I know, it's so freaky! There is another edition with a less creepy cover though. I'm really glad you liked my review and hopefully you'll enjoy the book, too! Thanks for your lovely comment.

  5. Um, wow, so, this seems super cool. I love psychological thrillers especially ones that mess with my head in unexpected ways, lol. I'd never heard of this book before, I'm gonna add it to TBR, thanks!

  6. Um, so, wow, this seems super cool. I love psychological thrillers, especially ones that mess with my head in unexpected ways, lol. I'm gonna add this to my TBR, thanks!

    1. The American cover is about 12% as cool as the UK version! :/

    2. Oh good! I kept trying to submit this comment and it said my validation failed, apparently it didn't and you just get lots of comments! hoorah!