Friday, January 23, 2015

Portraits of Celina by Sue Whiting Review

"Make him pay, Bayley. Make him pay.
It’s as if the wooden chest is luring me, urging me to open it – daring me almost. Open me up. Look inside. Come on, just for a second; it won’t hurt.
Celina O’Malley was sixteen years old when she disappeared. Now, almost forty years later, Bayley is sleeping in Celina’s room, wearing her clothes, hearing her voice. What does Celina want? And who will suffer because of it? A ghost story. A love story. A story of revenge."

Got a copy from Netgalley. Thanks!

I'm going to say that this book should only be for mature people. It gets very creepy at times, and there are a lot of dark moments. Yes, it is perhaps as dark as Revenge. Things get a bit too revenge-y at times, and there are some bloodcurdling parts.

"All hollow and empty." 

Or so the quote goes. (After all, I'm not very good at quotes. At all). (I'm perhaps infamous at misquoting nearly everything. "No, I am your father."). But I think the quote (or my version of the original quote) is a very good description of Bayley's personality and character. She has pretty much no backbone. She is caring, and she is a bit spiteful at some points. I have no strong (positive or negative) feelings about her character. 

Celina, on the other hand, is a bit more profound. She is certainly like Amanda/Emily/Victoria (from Revenge, the tv show). However, she is much more like Emily/Amanda. She really doesn't like the person who murdered her (and no, that is obviously not a spoiler). She is furious, and she is vengeful. She is the worse, sort of like that woman in white who lost all of her children. Ooo... I can really think a lot of her character. She is somewhat of a master manipulator. She is good. She is more than good. She can turn any person into her ally, and she can overcome nearly everyone of her enemies. She is single-minded in her quest for revenge.

The mystery. I have to say that the disappearance of Celina O'Malley doesn't make me very sad. (Honestly, the character is frighteningly sociopathic, controlling, and crazy). The author doesn't really get me interested in her disappearance, and a mere mention of her disappearance makes me kind of... grumpy. 

The murderer on the other hand. Now, this one is much better and much more interesting topic. (It rivals Celina's characteristics discussion). I have to say that I'm quite confused by the murderer's behavior. He seems to be up and then down. There is an inconsistency in his character that I find very confusing. I wish for his character to be much more smooth, and his motives for the first murder he committed (Celina's murder) remains quite unclear and murky. A little more explanation would be helpful, of course.

The ending remains to be the greatest mystery of the entire book. It is unsatisfying, and I completely dislike it. In fact, I think the threads are very loose in this one. There is a lot of places where I go... "Huh? Did Bayley learn her lesson?" I guess not.

Rating: Three out of Five

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