Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Haze by Rebecca Crunden - #review

HazeHaze by Rebecca Crunden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In this case, the 'haze' referred to in the title could refer to either the physical haze of drugs or the emotional haze we sometimes have to endure when a loved one dies. Eliza knew that all too well, because she had to deal with both.

Early on in Haze, Erick (Eliza's fiance), Sam (her sister) and Maya (Sam's fiancee), are on a hike in the woods. The sisters begin to squabble and Erick feels he needs to step in between the two, which he does. There has been some shoving involved back and forth. The Erick gives Sam a little shove, but she flies backward, hits her head and dies on the spot. No one who counts holds Eric responsible. Either they do not know the full story, or they believe there was no way the shove Erick gave Sam should have caused her to 'fly' as far as she did.

Erick leaves town without saying goodbye, unable to deal with the guilt. Eliza's father crawls into a bottle and doesn't come out for years, and her mother has trouble coping after Sam's death. I read somewhere once that 'children are not supposed to die before their parents', so I have a special sympathy for Sam and Eliza's family.

Tension ratchets up again when Erick returns to town for a family funeral, to support his mother.

Eliza has been taking drugs for a while. She's not living at her parents' house because it's hard for her to see them in the conditions they are in. She gets drugs from a former rival of Erick's and occasionally has sex with him, it sounds like 'because it's something to do'. Most of her emotions, it seems, died along with her sister.

The story was woven well, and I was engaged. (I read the story in one day). I just wanted to step into the story and hug most of the principals, excluding the two drug dealers, who, irrespective of their professions, were scum.

I admit I had some trouble adjusting when the supernatural element moved from the background to center stage. There were a couple of phone calls received by Sam, and then Eliza, from a girl who had committed suicide some years before; these should have clued me in. Indeed, I probably would have had something snippy to say if nothing came of this plot seed.

I'm not sure why this transition to the supernatural part of the story feels a little contrived to me. It seemed like walking from a darkened movie theatre with an incredible amount of noise, to a bright sunny day and relative calm. It took some time to adjust.

But adjust I did, and I have to put that down to the author's abilities. Normally, when I have an experience like that with a book, once I'm gone, it's hard to get back. But I noticed (while reading) that shortly after, I was 'back' into the story.

Do I recommend this book? Yes, with some details.
Will I read more by this author? Absolutely.

View all my reviews

 (Disclaimer:  I received a free copy from the author and publishers via Read it and Reap program on Goodreads in exchange for my honest review.)


This book helps me fulfill the following 2019 reading challenges and read-a-thons:

#WintersRespite Read-a-thon
#BeatTheBacklist2019 RC
You Read How Many? RC
GoodReads RC
Pop Sugar RC
A to Z RC

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