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The Murmurings
Carly Anne West
BIBLIO:2013, Simon Pulse, Ages 12 to 18, $9.99.
REVIEWER:Kristi Bernard
FORMAT: Young Adult
ISBN: 9781442441804

Sophie David had a sister named Nell. The two were best friends. Nell started to hear voices and see images in the mirror. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia and committed to Oakside Behavioral Institute. Eventually, she ran away with an intern from the institute, but was later found dead in nearby Jerome. Sophie felt something wasn't right and wanted to know more about Nell's stay in the hospital, the doctors and her death. Sophie was also worried that she may end up like her sister, especially the hearing things and seeing things part. She started reading through Nell's journal to make an effort to try to understand her sister and what happened. Sophie has been left alone with her mother who is drinking and drowning in sorrow. Her aunt comes to stay to care for her mom. On top of that, Sophie has become an outcast at school because of her sister. When newcomer, Evan from out of town, befriends her in a most unusual way, first by following her around at school and then by randomly calling her to hang out, she isn't sure if he can be trusted. When Sophie takes him on a drive to Oakside is when the two begin to confide in each other. You see, Evan has a cousin who also hears murmurings. Together they research sites to find answers and get to the truth. Sophie is starting to hear and see things just like her sister Nell. As the story unfolds, Sophie learns about the source of the murmurings and the plot behind it all the while dealing with the crazy doctor, who is insane, and solving the mystery of her sisters death. Will she find all answers or go crazy trying?

Author Carly Anne West has created a story that provides readers with the creepies, suspense, and a murder mystery. Readers will also find that there is friendship, family drama, and dealings with everyday school stuff here too. Once getting into the story, readers may find that they don't want to read it at night. This is where the book fits into a psychological thriller category. This fast paced read is engaging and the characters are well written and somewhat easy to relate to. The novel has the creep factor but is also has a very contemporary feel which does help calm the nerves of the reader. Parents and teachers will approve but can also use this story as a way to open up dialogue regarding mental illness.