Review: Don’t Breathe a Word

Don’t Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon

Publisher: Harper


Source: Publisher

From the cover:

One soft, summer night in a small Vermont town, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother, Sam, about a door – hidden among the ruins of an old town long forgotten – that led to a magical place. A place where she would meet Teilo, the King of the Fairies, and become his queen.

Sam didn’t believe in fairies, ghosts, or anything supernatural back then, and now, fifteen years later, he still doesn’t. It’s one of the many things that his girlfriend, Phoebe, loves about this practical, sensible man. But a series of eerie occurrences challenges Sam’s hard-headed realism. As events spin out of control, the couple finds themselves questioning their reality and Sam is reminded of a terrible promise he made years ago…a promise that could destroy them all.

This book took me much longer to read than I had anticipated. Not because it was a terrible book or anything, but because it really creeped me out. I love reading mystery and suspense books and I’m used to staying up late until two in the morning reading those books, but Don’t Breathe a Word was one book that I refused to read at night.

I swear I started hearing things the second I started to read this book. I jumped every time the floorboards creaked and then my wild imaginations got the better of me. And now I don’t think I’ll ever have another good night sleep in a creaky house.

For most of the book, the story alternates between Phoebe’s present point of view and Lisa‘s past point of view. At first I wondered why the book wasn’t told through Sam’s point of view since he was there when Lisa disappeared, but as the story progressed, I thought Phoebe’s perspective added a nice touch to the book. So kudos to the author! Let me never question your writing again.

Besides the fact that the book scared me more than I want to admit, I actually really enjoyed reading this book. Yes I was freaked out every time I picked up the book (I mean come on, just look at the cover. Tell me the cover doesn’t scare you), but I was completely enthralled by the book. I wanted to know what in the world was going on. For the majority of the book I didn’t know what was real and what wasn’t and who to believe. Everything was so twisted and creepy that I started to question everything and everyone.

Anyways, if you’re looking for a book to keep you up at night—not from reading, but because you’re too scared to go to sleep—then Don’t Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon is for you. It’s creepy and twisty plot will keep you engaged and its one book that won’t let go of its hold on you. I know I’m still thinking about it long after I finished it.

Also, if you’ve read the book, e-mail me! I want to discuss the ending. Seriously, what happened? I love open ended endings every now and then, but this was one book where I wanted the ending spelled out to me. No more games, no more mysteries. Instead, I’m left scratching my head wondering what in the world just happened.

[ purchase from amazon ] [ visit the author ]


Posted on June 15, 2011, in 4 stars, book reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I did read the book and felt everything you felt up until the last chapter. Then I was like WTH? LOL

  2. I have read the book…please e-mail me and we can discuss.

    I will have to be reminded since I read it in January or so, but I am good at remembering. 🙂

    Also….I am having a Father’s Day giveaway on my blog if you would like to stop by.

    Hope you can visit.


  3. I’m going to be honest, while I am really intrigued by this book, books that scare me I have to shy away from. I spook easy!

  4. gorgeous cover!!! i only read creepy books at night if ant is home, otherwise forget it! every noise becomes an intruder, the house settling becomes something sinister. lol. i want to get my hands on this one immediately–plus, i’m a sucker for vermont and have wanted to move there FOREVER. not happening, but i can dream. thanks for the rec, i’ll let you know what i think.

  5. McMahon’s books always creep me out, yet somehow, I can’t stop myself from reading them. Go figure. This one is actually my favorite one of McMahon’s, just because it’s a little different. The ending, though, was so weird. Not at all what I expected. I’d be interested to hear the convo’s you’ve all been having about it …

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