Jun 14, 2013

Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn Review

Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 213 pages
When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . .

Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself.

He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.

He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable.

Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present.

Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.


Charm & Strange is definitely one of those books where you sit there at the end and go, wow – never did I suspect that while reading. Then you probably find yourself sitting there even more just thinking back on everything you read and every twist and turn you read but seeing it completely different. Brilliant. That’s the one word I would use to describe this book. I truly thought I was reading some type of book but it turns out I was way off base.

That being said, writing a review is going to be incredibly difficult because I do not want to spoil a thing. So I will start with the characters. Writing from a male’s POV is hard. Not that I write books but I used to write fan fiction and I dreaded writing from a male POV. To make them sound realistic is hard and I bow down to any female author who can pull it off. Miss Kuehn, I am bowing down to you. Win is definitely real and most definitely screwed up.

The flipping from one chapter in the present time to the next chapter in the past was flawless. In fact, when it stopped going back in time I kind of missed it and was kind of wanting more.

There was no romance. There was a lead up to a possible romance but it just didn’t happen. As you know, this makes me sad because I like that aspect of a book but at the same time, this is a book where I think it would’ve taken away from the story.

Win is such a tortured soul; you can’t help but feel for this guy. He’s a bit of a loner, actually I take that back, he’s a loner, straight up. Nothing wrong with that, trust me but the more you read about him the more you realize he’s a loner. He’s been through a lot and he’s still going through a lot. I really liked Win – he’s relatable, in a weird way.

I really can’t say much about this book without giving everything away, like I said. Just trust me; you’ll want to read this. It’s an amazing book, the writing is pretty great and the curveball is something I didn’t see coming (but it totally makes sense).




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