In anticipation of the August 1st release of Hillari's Head, I'm posting occasional guest critiques of Hillari's Head from professional media reviewers. Today's review is from United Kingdom reviewer Scout Paige at All We Have Is Stories. For additional reviews, go to the reviews page on this website.
Hillari's Head by Tim Stutler ✮✮✮✮
The author sent me an advance review copy in exchange for an honest review. And being honest, I'm really not sure what I expected after reading the synopsis for this book; it's not like anything I've read before and when I read the words paralegals and attorneys, it brought to mind shows like Suits and Law and Order. I was a little apprehensive because courtroom drama isn't really my thing. But to my delight, Hillari's Head was nothing like those shows. I really enjoyed reading it and I'm definitely going to read outside my genre comfort zone more often.
Hillari's Head is about Kristina, a paralegal starting her new life. She's certain she is over her traumatic past, the death of her father and leaving behind her sister Hillari, who suffers from Oligodontia -- where six or more teeth fail to develop -- and an oversized head. But when the memory of Hillari starts to haunt Kristina, she has to learn that "You can't escape the past, until you accept what has passed."
I absolutely adore that quote.
The writing was superb. The author did a great job with Kristina's character; she felt very real and I really liked her. I'm always surprised when a male author creates such a realistic female character that I really connect with. Stutler must have done some research on female protagonists because Kristina was expertly developed. The story line was so original. I loved the twists and didn't see the end coming at all. Hillari's Head was a real page turner; I couldn't put it down until the very end.
I actually think I'm going to read this book again in a couple of years. It was really touching and will stay with me for a while. The relationship between Kristina and Duck was great; he was a great character and gave Kristina more layers. I found the way that it slowly became apparent to Kristina that she wasn't as over her past as she thought very moving. I know what it's like to think you're past something, just to have it reappear and make you realize it had never really gone in the first place.
Kristina was a fighter. She seemed pretty fragile and vulnerable for most of the book, but as we learn more about her it comes to light that she is stronger than even she knows. I like the way she comes to realize that at the end. I thought the ending was brilliant: I like the fact the author forwent the typical route for the book's closing. It made the book more original and memorable to me.
Hillari's Head is a highly enjoyable read I won't easily forget. I really recommend it for anyone who loves a good original story line.
*June 25, 2013 review. Thank you Scout Paige for the kind and detailed review!
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