24 Following

Stephanie Parent, Reader and Writer

Stephanie Parent is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts as a piano major. She moved to Los Angeles because of Francesca Lia Block's WEETZIE BAT books, which might give you some idea of how much books mean to her. She also loves dogs, books about dogs, and sugary coffee drinks both hot and cold.
Sins & Needles - Karina Halle Sins & Needles is a hard book for me to review, because my feelings about it are very…complex. All of Karina Halle’s books are dark, but with the EIT and Devil’s Metal series, I find them to be dark in a slightly addictive, like-watching-a-horror-movie-marathon-and-eating-popcorn-nonstop kind of way. Sins & Needles felt dark in a much more unsettling, even uncomfortable, very real way. I can think of a few reasons the book might have affected me so differently, and it could really be a combination of all of them, or none at all: One, Sins & Needles is the first of Karina’s books that has no supernatural element, which makes it seem a bit more “real.” Two, Camden’s and Ellie’s pasts and the way they’re described feel very raw and truly traumatic—the little things, like a snub in a high-school cafeteria, as much as the big acts of violence. And third, I got really sick while I was reading this, and I probably should have been reading something light and cutesy instead. But of course once I started this, I wasn’t stopping!In any case, around 40% in the book became so intense for me that I thought I might have difficulty finishing it. Don’t get me wrong, I was really enjoying it and dying to know what happened—but it was just so emotional and dark. As I kept reading, there were some hints of lightness, hope and humor that balanced out the really tense moments. And more than that, I realized the plot was building toward an even greater emotional intensity that was worth all the anguish. I don’t even know how to describe the way the last third or so of the book made me feel, except to say that it’s closer to the way I feel when listening to certain types of music than while reading. So maybe…more instinctive, from the gut rather than through the head? And I know the author’s references to music, and particularly her brilliant use of the song “On Every Street,” really helped here.So anyway, this is turning into a rambling and strange review…so I will just say that Sins & Needles is sure to be unlike anything else you’ve ever read, and it will punch you in the gut. In a good way.