Review||| The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen by: Katherine Howe

November 24, 2015

The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen by: Katherine Howe

Rating: 2.5/5


Format: Library hardback

Page Count: 400 

Published: September 15th, 2015

Publisher: G.P Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

"It’s summertime in New York City, and aspiring filmmaker Wes Auckerman has just arrived to start his summer term at NYU. While shooting a séance at a psychic’s in the East Village, he meets a mysterious, intoxicatingly beautiful girl named Annie.

As they start spending time together, Wes finds himself falling for her, drawn to her rose petal lips and her entrancing glow. But there’s something about her that he can’t put his finger on that makes him wonder about this intriguing hipster girl from the Village. Why does she use such strange slang? Why does she always seem so reserved and distant? And, most importantly, why does he only seem to run into her on one block near the Bowery? Annie’s hiding something, a dark secret from her past that may be the answer to all of Wes’s questions . . .


Oh this book. Back in early September I went to the library and decided to get all the books (because who doesn't love free books?) TAOAVS was one of the many in my haul. At the time I was really feeling the plot line and I was like "I'll start it RIGHT NOW" ... so that's what I did. I can tell you one thing and it's that this book didn't take me a short period of time to read. Actually, it took me over a month and it's only 400 pages, which isn't anything too drastic. I'm not sure if I lost interest or if I was too busy worrying over all the new-releases but this book just took me FOREVER to finish. So let's get into my actual thoughts on the story.

I was immediately intrigued by the prologue (or chapter one but I can't remember which it is.) The narrator is discussing an old newspaper, nothing too drastic, when all of a sudden you begin to hear about a fire that massacred a ton of people. The tone of the novel was eerie and I loved it.
Then we start to get into the actual story. I definitely wasn't as drawn in as I was with the prologue but still I trudged on. I didn't really pick up on everything that was happening and I wasn't instantly in love with any of the characters either. The story was told in parts that followed two different character, Wes and Annie. The first part, which followed Wes, was pretty lacking in content, nothing really happened. 
After part 1 we flip over to part 2, which followed Annie. I was instantly confused when it was her POV and I didn't feel unsettled like I think I was supposed to feel. 
... and it really didn't get much better.
I kind of began to catch on to "the big reveal" when I wasn't far into Annie's POV, so finding out some things about her past weren't as surprising as I wish they would have been. 
There is one point in the book where Annie is just running around the streets screaming about how confused and scared she is. This wouldn't have been a big deal if it hadn't continued for a good 3 pages. It was extremely dragged on and I just wanted to start skipping pages at that point.
As much as I didn't really enjoy Annie's POV I really didn't enjoy reading Wes's POV. Wes's parts were just pretty average until the end, even then they weren't super interesting.
After you get a good chunk of the way into the book you begin to see the Pov's changing in no specific pattern. I personally really hate when this happens, especially when a book is told in 3rd person similiar to Allegiant. I couldn't tell who was talking and it's annoying to flip back through the book to check.

As far as the characters...
We have Wes, Annie, ... Wes's friends and his girlfriend? Who's names I've long forgotten at this point. Wes started out as a shy film guy, at least that was my interpretation. I really liked him because it was refreshing to not read about a douche canoe main guy for once.Yeah, well that didn't last. I felt like he had a very double-sided personality. He had a cute nice-guy exterior but then towards the end he cheats because... well I still don't understand why. 
MADDY *remembers girlfriends name*
So Wes and Maddy meet at a seance towards the beginning and Maddy immediately doesn't mesh well with me. I think she was supposed to be seen as an "I can take care of myself bad-a**" but she comes off pushy and needy and just... *shudders.*
Both of Wes's friends were douche bags. We had one who was pushy and had one-sided expectations; then we had the one friend who got all the girls and worked at a super fancy clothing store. Both had smug attitudes and I couldn't stand scenes that included them.
Annie was just meh. I didn't really hate her but I didn't connect with her. Actually about the not hating her part...
Towards the end she has her head in the clouds and she makes some idiotic decisions. Actually I guess everyone does. There were so many ways to avoid what happens in the end but apparently no one in this book has a smidgen of common sense.  

Overall, I really just didn't like this book. I was hoping for an eerie contemporary but all I got was annoying characters and a few confusing chapters. However, after reflecting on the book I couldn't find a ton of things that I would change about it. I truly believe that this just wasn't my type book and someone else could find enjoyment out of it. If the synopsis sounds interesting then you may just want to give the first few chapters a try.

Favorite Quote:

"... A minute can be an eternity, sometimes."

(P.s I have a TON more quotes on my Tumblr 
because if there's one thing this book has it's the amazing quotes.)

Thank you for reading and have a lovely day!

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  1. Aww, I was at B&N a few days ago and saw this cover and thought it looked great! Then I read the synopsis and it sounds SO good! Sad to hear you didn't enjoy it :(

  2. I don't think I've heard of this book before, but I'm sorry it wasn't for you. I can understand feeling as though you want to skip some details after pages and pages of unnecessary things. I can remember experiencing that, and also disliking some characters' idiotic decisions, before when I read A Thousand Pieces of You. Many things in that book, including the explanation of time travel, love interests and relationships, and idiotic decisions made by the main character, like it sounds like some personalities in this book made, ruined the book for me. I enjoyed your review, though!:)

    Claire @ Cover to Cover


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