March 1, 2013

Blog Tour: The Murmurings by Carly Anne West – Review, Excerpt, and G1veaway

Hey all!  Thanks for stopping by the blog for our Tour Stop for

The Murmurings by Carly Anne West

presented by Shane @ Itching for Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!



Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.

As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not….

add to goodreadsThe Murmurings by Carly Anne West
Publication Date:  March 5, 2013
Publisher:   Simon Pulse

Order your copy at:
Chapter-Indigo | amazon | B&N | TBD | indiebound

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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

Gabby NewEver since I first looked at the cover of The Murmurings by Carly Anne West I’ve been so interested in getting to read the novel. The brief description I got off the internet had me so intrigued and what I got from the novel itself was nothing like what I expected. I got scared. I got caught up in the romance. I got pulled into a novel that pulled me in deep and never let go.

The Murmurings focuses on the life of main character Sophie David whose sister Nell once heard voices in her head that she claimed weren’t her own. These voices lead her to a mental institution and after running away with a member of the staff Nell is found dead. Sophie has been a target of bullying ever since her sister went crazy and is used to being alone, after her sister’s death her mother became an alcoholic and left Sophie to care for herself. When Sophie begins to hear the same whispering voices that drove her sister insane, she finds herself in the same position her sister was in: Stuck inside of a mental institution and discovering something dark… the murmuring in her head is definitely the work of an outside force. Of the Taker. The head of the mental hospital has gone insane himself with an obsession that involves Sophie’s uncanny ability to hear the Taker’s murmuring and a woman who wants to run the hospital in her own way all have it out for Sophie. It will take everything in her to end the Taker’s reign of terror or else she’ll succumb to its dark promises like those before her.

The Murmurings is a lot of things, it’s the story of; Obsession, insanity and creatures outside the realm of normal. I have never read a novel that has frightened me so much as The Murmurings has. I’m used to the psychological thriller scene and I’m loving that it’s entered the YA universe. The Murmurings is a novel that deserves its own film adaptation, it’s intense and the way that West writes her more heart-pounding scenes leave you on the edge of your seat. I for one, adored the scenes when the Taker is present and visible. The monster that is the Taker should frighten every reader and should leave you afraid to look into a mirror and constantly wondering if the voice in your head (especially the one helping you read all of this) is really your own.

The protagonist in The Murmurings is one that is worth your time to fall in love with. Sophie David is the type of character that every reader (either male or female) can relate to in some way or form. A big thing with Sophie is the boy she ends up romantically involved with. The romance in the novel is the type that leaves you going “Awww” and also has a sense of realism and mystery. There’s still the question of Evan possibly only involving himself with Sophie to find his long lost cousin Deb, but he’s too loveable for his motives to have ever been in the wrong place, right?

I’m the type of person who is easily frightened by some of the smallest things, that being said I’ve always had the one nightmare where I look up into a mirror and somebody is in the reflection behind me (possibly holding a knife or smiling). The Murmurings takes that one vulnerable fear of mine and has the Taker appear in mirrors to haunt its’ victims.  Those scenes are the types that leave you a bit disturbed and flat out terrified. Will I be looking at any mirrors anytime soon? Probably not. I would recommend The Murmurings to readers that are looking for a novel that is perfect to read during the night with only dim lighting and those of us who are looking for a novel that will knock you off your feet (and then drag you kick and screaming into Sophie’s world).


I’M SUPPOSED TO WONDER WHY Gregor Samsa is a cockroach. Not how. Why. That’s the way Mrs. Dodd says we need to think if we’re going to analyze The Metamorphosis.Otherwise, the how gets distracting. Apparently, Franz Kafka didn’t want us questioning how it’s possible that some guy could wake up one morning as a cockroach. We’re supposed to focus on why he would be a giant, hideous insect, to ask why it had to happen to him and nobody else, to wonder why his family doesn’t care.

It feels pretty familiar, actually: all those why questions, that whole family-not-caring thing. Except that my mom probably wouldn’t notice if I grew antennae and a couple of extra legs, let alone take notice enough to throw apples at me across the dining room table. As much as I want to listen to what Mrs. Dodd is saying about Gregor Samsa and cockroaches, all I can think about is how I wanted my junior year to feel different. Maybe more like it was happening to me and not someone else. Maybe just . . . quieter. Nell was always the outgoing one. I liked being the sister of someone who was popular. It came with fringe benefits. No one teased me if I sat in a corner at lunch with a book, rather than at a table with friends. After Nell went into the hospital, though, everything changed. All of her so-called friends treated her like a leper. And now, I’m someone to be feared by association.

“And what’s the significance of Grete, the sister? Anyone?”

In a way, it’s better. Even if someone tapped me on the shoulder—some bland-looking new girl who didn’t know anything about Nell, someone who didn’t know that my mom drinks like it’s her job, that I can’t talk to my dad about it because I don’t even know who he is and probably never will—and told me she wanted to be my best friend, what would I tell her? That I’m the girl whose sister heard whispers that weren’t quite words, and saw things so dark they took away her light? That she was really good at hiding it from everyone but me? That Nell cut herself and ran away from her institution with some orderly named Adam Newfeld, and that no one saw her again until her body was found in Jerome, Arizona? That the police haven’t found the orderly—who was probably the last one to see her alive—not that they’ve been trying very hard? That when I went to Jerome a week later to see where they found Nell’s body, I felt like I was being watched the whole time, and when I returned to my car, Nell’s journal was lying on the front seat?

“Why does Kafka pay so much attention to the father figure? Come on. Someone knows.”

Or best yet, would I tell this pretend friend of mine that I’m starting to hear things too, just like Nell did before she got worse? Would I tell her about the thing in the mirror from that night?

“Sophie? You look deep in thought. Why don’t you share what’s on your mind?”

“The voice,” I say.

I hear shuffling behind me. A chair creaks under shifting weight. Someone snickers. I swear I hear “freak” coughed. It wouldn’t be the first time.

“Hmm, can you expand on that a little?” Mrs. Dodd’s face is puckered with concern.

She thinks I’m getting at something and wants to get there with me. I swear Mrs. Dodd would take anything I said as gospel. She always gives me credit for understanding more than I do. Why she thinks I’ve got so much figured out is beyond me.

I take a stab at it. “Er, uh, the voice is important for explaining . . . his anger?” Gregor seems mad enough. I mean, if I woke up tomorrow and I was a giant insect, I’d be a little more than pissed.

Still, I wonder if it’s worse to wake up and realize that your sister’s dead, or that you’ll probably wind up just like her. I wonder if that’s not a hundred times worse.

“Okay . . . ” Mrs. Dodd seems to chew on my words for a minute, then she swallows. Inspiration arrives. “Yes. Okay, anger. Absolutely. And this is the root of Kafka’s imagery. Very good. Now, who can take it from here?”

Sure, why not? Anger’s at the root of a lot of things.

That’s when a memory grips me like a cramp, taking over my body and making me focus on that one singular pain. It’s in reaction to a word: “root.”

Every part of me remembers the tree roots bulging from the ground in Jerome. The roots of the tree that held Nell upside down amid its high, sprawling limbs until the elderly sheriff found her. She was in a position so unnatural that I still can’t fully believe the report. But what I remember most is the feeling of my foot curving over the root of that goddamned tree.

I shudder, knocking my copy of Franz Kafka’s Collected Works to the floor with a thud loud enough to attract the attention of the entire classroom. The snickering resumes. I look around, but nobody looks back. Like they’re afraid I’ll turn them to stone.

“Sorry,” I mutter to no one in particular and lean for the book, which is just out of my reach. Mrs. Dodd is talking about Gregor Samsa’s violin-playing sister, but all I hear is sister, sister, sister.

My head starts to swirl, and I’m so sure I’m going to throw up that I don’t even ask Mrs. Dodd for a hall pass. I don’t say a word. I just get up and charge to the front of the room.

“Sophie, are you—?”

I’m out the door before she can finish.

My cheeks are tingling by the time I enter the restroom. I push into the nearest stall (I don’t even scan to see if I’m alone. There’s no time) and promptly lose my breakfast: cottage cheese, cantaloupe, and half of a cinnamon-raisin bagel. I’m sure I’ll never eat any of those foods again for as long as I live.

“Oh God,” I mumble, shivering as I hear my words echo back to me in the dank bathroom.

I emerge from the stall and nearly jump right back into it when I see my reflection. I look like hell. In this light, my hair is less “chocolate auburn,” as the box suggested, and more purple. Which matches the circles under my eyes. My eyes are deep-set as it is, so it sort of looks like my skull has swallowed them. My face is thinner than it used to be. I haven’t had much of an appetite since Nell died.


Nell is dead.

My sister is dead.

There’s a faucet dripping. The rhythm is steady, and soon my heart begins to beat in time with it. Then there is nothing. It’s as if all sound is pulled from the bathroom with the intake of a breath.

After a moment, sound returns, focused in my right ear, like a hand cupping the air beside my head.


The sound is so close, yet I can’t make out the words. But it wants to be heard.

“Sophie, what is it? What’s the matter?”

Mrs. Dodd stands in the open doorway, her hay-colored hair swishing as the door clangs shut behind her. The murmuring is gone. The faucet is dripping again. A tiny spot on the mirror distorts my reflection—a tiny spot that wasn’t there a minute ago.

It happened again.

About the Author:

Carly Anne West is a freelance writer with an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College. She lives with her husband and son in Seattle, Washington.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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  1. Ashley Rogers

    Thank you so much! This book looks amazing! I am really excited to read it!

  2. Katrina @ Bookish Things

    This book looks awesome! Thank you for the giveaway!

  3. This sounds like a great read. The blurb pulled me in, the excerpt made me want to read even more. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Tamara

    This sounds like a great book. I love creepy thrillers. I can’t wait to read it.

  5. cody

    Thank you for the giveaway! This sounds like a really interesting read.

  6. Elizabeth

    I’m so interested in this book. It’ll definitely be on the top of the list next time I’m in the mood for a creepy read.


    Sounds like an interesting read! Thank you for sharing!

    jukyjoauka at aol dot com

  8. Vivien

    Excited for this one!

  9. Vivien


  10. Tina M

    Great Giveaway..Thanks!!

  11. Twisty J

    I have been intrigued by this one since I first heard about it a few months ago. Now that I have read the review (thanks!) and the excerpt (awesome!), plus the Florence song to top it all off- well, I have to get my hands on a copy now. Thanks for the great feature!

  12. Samantha D

    TY for the giveaway! I have been wanting to read the Murmurings!

  13. Denise Z

    Loved the excerpt and already have that anxious feeling of need to know what is on the next page. Thank you for sharing with us. I am looking forward to more :)

  14. Holly Letson

    I like the cover on this book. The creepy feel of it really draws me in, and makes me want to read it.

  15. Darlene Ysaguirre

    The cover is amazing! Thanks For Giveaway =)

  16. I’ve got this book on hold at the library. Would love to be able to cancel it. :)

  17. Lisa Vazquezanzua

    Another great sounding book! Looking forward to reading this one! Thank you for the chance to win in this giveaway!

  18. Chelsea B.

    Wow. And when I say wow, I mean, WOW! Um, yes, please! Looking forward to this novel!

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