Lisa Reviews: Adele Griffin—"Tighter"
Aloha fellow Burn Brighters,
Welcome to my first official review! If you haven’t been keeping up with recent posts, then you’re probably thinking, “Who the heck are you?”; and you should definitely check out my intro (which I only worked a short three hours on!). But if you have, then you should already know that I’m the new kid on the block. I was chosen as your teen blogger, and I hope to bring more humor and fun into Burn Bright with my reviews. I hope you follow me throughout my journey, and oh yeah, please keep your hands and feet in the ride at ALL times!
The lucky book that I’ll be reviewing for you all today is Tighter by Adele Griffin. This is the first book that I’ve read from her, but she also has two other novels, Sons of Liberty and Where I Want to Be.
There is a good and bad side to everything in this crazy world of ours, especially pills and medication. Pills are great! They relieve pain, stop allergies, loosen muscles, and even make you fall asleep if you’re having trouble doing so. But in some cases, such as Jamie’s, taking too many can become addictive and very dangerous.
Everything started when she ripped some muscle tissue while clearing a track hurdle. The doctor diagnosed it as a major lower lumbar strain. Instead of going to her therapy sessions, Jamie decided popping pills would be a lot simpler. When you first get to meet Jamie (the main character) she’s actually right in the middle of stealing medication from both her parents and siblings. Since she won’t be home for half the summer, Jamie thought it was a good idea to stock up.
After moping around for the first half of summer, Jamie’s mom decides to get her a job. She’ll be leaving New Jersey and going to a small island called Little Bly to live with an old friend of her mother’s. Jamie’s job is to babysit his daughter, Isa. When she finally arrives and settles in, everything seems normal. A normal house, a normal island, with normal beaches, and like any other normal little town, everybody knows everyone and gossip spreads quickly.
When taking Isa and her older brother Milo to the beach, Jamie notices the way people look at her. She thinks it’s probably because she’s not a local, until Isa tells her about Jessie, her old babysitter who passed away in a plane crash, along with her boyfriend Peter. Besides sharing similar names, Isa informs Jamie that she and Jessie looked alike and that the stares were probably the result of old emotions having been stirred.
Throughout her stay Jamie feels like someone is watching and following her at various times. At first she’s not very sure who. Could it be Peter, Jessie’s boyfriend, who also passed away in the same plane crash? Did Peter cause the crash? It can’t be him, he died over a year ago. Are ghosts real? Could Jamie, Isa, or Milo (Isa’s older brother) really see them? Or are the pills just getting to Jamie’s head?
But there’s also a cute local boy named Sebastian, who Jamie starts to have feelings for.
Even though I really loved reading Tighter, I didn’t like the ending very much. Towards the end, it felt like the author was in a rush to finish the book. There were just too many loose ends that weren’t tied up and left me questioning things. During the story, Jamie has this nagging feeling that someone is watching her, and she suspects that someone is Peter’s ghost. After finding some clues in various places in the house (missing tiles on Isa’s fireplace, a J carved into a chair) Jamie wants to do her research to find out what really happened to Jessie and Peter. She even looked through his Facebook, reading all of his private messages. But we never find out what really happened.
Besides that, I really found myself enjoying Tighter, I usually don’t like books with ghosts in them, but even I have to admit it was really good! 😀
Published 10 May 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Paperback, 224 pages