Title: Without Tess
Author: Marcella Pixley
Release Date: October 2011
Published By: Farrar, Strous, and Girrax
Goodreads Rating: 4.13 stars
Review: Tess and Lizzie are as close as sisters can be, living in their secret world of magic, selkies, and flying horses. But when Lizzie is ready to grow up, Tess still wants to cling to her fantasies, and as she sinks deeper and deeper into her delusions, she decides to leave her family forever. Now in high school, Lizzie struggles to understand what happens to her sister, and with the help of Tess's old journal, searches for a way to let go.
I started WITHOUT TESS expecting it to be like every other contemporary dealing with the loss of a sister. Boy, was I wrong. This book far and above exceeded my expectations, delving into a haunting portrayal of childhood psychosis. I found myself riveted to the spot as I read about Tess's antics, starting off innocent and soon becoming something darker and twisted.
This book is told primarily through flashbacks, and while this is normally something that bothers me, it worked perfectly for this book, dealing with both the present and the creepy occurrences of Lizzie's past. What happened to her in childhood with Tess is at once heart-breaking and horrifying, and there were times when I literally could not put the book down.
I feel like my review can not do this novel justice, but every moment in this book was haunting, emotional, and sad. Tess was a fiery character, full of fantasies and dreams that twisted into something horrible, and Lizzie struggled to pick up the pieces. This is a book that everyone must read, especially those who seek out psychological suspense.
I received a free copy of this book for review. This in no way affected my review.