Friday, June 5, 2015

Review: Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

Title: Bellweather Rhapsody
Author: Kate Racculia
Year Published: 2014

Genre: YA fiction (mystery)
Pages: 337
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2015 Google Reading map)USA (NY)

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school's library

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Fifteen years ago a murder-suicide in room 712 rocked the grand old Bellweather Hotel and the young bridesmaid who witnessed it, Minnie Graves. Now hundreds of high school musicians, including bassoonist Rabbit Hatmaker and his brassy diva twin, Alice, have gatherined in its cavernous, crumbling halls for the annual State-wide festival; ;Minnie has returned to face her demons; and a colossal snowstorm is threatening to trap them all in the hotel. then Alice's roommate goes missing--from room 712. The search for her entwines an eccentric cast of characters: conductors and caretakers, failures and stars, teenagersansd on the verge and adults trapped in memories. For everyone has come to the Bellweather with a secret, and everyone is haunted.

Review: I love a good mystery and I really wanted to love this one, but it came up a bit short for me. It isn't bad, I just don't think it's one of the greats. My colleague at work liked it and recommended it to me. I am not sure what didn't resonate with me, but I think it might be that it was told in the third person from the perspectives of the many characters. Third person narrative keeps me a bit separated and less invested than does a first-person account. Especially when so many characters have input.

The concept is such a good one: a once grand hotel, now faded and jaded where various characters have come to deal with... something. Alice and Rabbit want to shine at the State festival, the Concierge is dealing with the loss of his family, Jill and her mother are at odds about everything, Minnie wants to exorcise her fears, and Brodie isn't sure what's wrong and missing from his life. On their own, I like each character's story, but together it just seems to be too much and lacking a bit in focus. Sort of like the movie Forrest Gump. How is it possible to have all that happen?

The mystery itself even has many strains. I thought it would be the disappearance of the girl in room 712, but each character brings a mystery to the table and they all seem to be connected. I am a reader who needs more focus; five or six mysteries is just too much for me.

I did like this book and I don't want it to come off as if I didn't. For me, I want more focus.

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