Book Review: Haze, by Rebecca Crunden

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Title:  Haze
AuthorRebecca Crunden
Genre:    Fiction, paranormal
Rating:  4 out of 5

When Eliza Owens gets a phone call in the middle of the night from a girl she’s never met, she doesn’t know what to think. The girl introduces herself as Paige, and says she used to date Erik Stern, Eliza’s fiancé. What’s more, she has something important to discuss.

The only problem? Paige has been dead for years.

Believing it to be a sick prank, Eliza tries to force it from her mind until Sam, Eliza’s older sister, tells her she met Paige only a few weeks before. And, according to Sam, Paige has nothing nice to say about Erik.

The fight which follows shatters the lives of everyone involved, and Erik disappears without a trace.

Five years later, Erik returns to town after his father’s death. Old wounds quickly resurface, and with them several burning questions. None the least of which is: Who spoke to Eliza and Sam if it wasn’t Paige? And why?

I’ll start with a disclaimer that normally, if I don’t like the characters in a book, I won’t continue reading it. I usually give them 10-15%, and if I’m still disliking them, I’m done with the book. DNF. In the case of Haze, I didn’t like these characters very much—and some of them I strongly disliked—but the story was interesting enough that I kept reading.

I think the author made an interesting choice to put drug use and drug dealers so casually front and center in this novel, and to make the protagonists active participants, as characters like that would normally be considered the “bad guys.” The writing is solid, although I kept getting confused over who some of the secondary characters were. The paranormal aspects didn’t come into play until the last third of the book—apart from the mysterious calls from Paige, which could have had a perfectly normal explanation (especially with Erik’s dad showing up unexpectedly at the diner—when they became the primary focus. This could be a little jarring for a reader, but the storyline ended up carrying it through.

Rebecca Crunden is a full-time student and the author of Haze.

(Galley courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.)

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