Book Review: The Raising

The Raising

Laura Kasischke

Harper Perennial

496 pages

Nicole Werner seems to have it all.  She is a blond, virginal sorority girl and she’s living it up during her freshman year at a midwestern honors college.  The tragedy strikes.  She is killed one night when her boyfriend crashes his car near campus.  He walks away unscathed but remembers nothing of the accident.

Right from the start there are questions related to her death.  Nothing is as it seems.  Shelly, a middle aged woman who works on campus witnesses the accident and knows that when she left the scene, after authorities arrived, Nicole was alive.  Yet immediately following the accident, local news sources claim that the passer by who witnessed the accident left shortly thereafter without properly instructing authorities to the scene.  Hours later, when the crash was subsequently discovered, Nicole was lying dead in a pool of blood.

The Raising went back and forth between multiple narrators. One narrator, and probably the one I enjoyed most, was Mira, a professor on campus who taught a freshman seminar entitled Death, Dying and the Undead (which I would have taken in a hot second!).  Mira is involved in anything related to death, including folklore, so she is immediately interested in Nicole’s demise, especially when some of the guys on campus start claiming Nicole isn’t dead . . .

There was so much going on with this book that I don’t know where to start with my review.  I recently started taking notes as I am reading, which has proven to be helpful, although in this case I really can’t fathom how I could turn my notes into a cohesive review.  I will say that I was most interested in the blurb on the back cover, which compared The Raising to The Secret History. I would say, now that I have finished the book, that the comparison is accurate, however The Raising wasn’t quite of the caliber as its predecessor. That isn’t meant to be a negative, as Donna Tartt left some huge shoes to fill!

The Raising was a fast paced mystery that kept me wondering until the very end.

Other Reviews:

Caribou’s Mom

Jenn’s Bookshelves

Book Addiction

Book Chatter

Wordsmithonia

The House of the Seven Tails

I received a copy of this book as a gift.

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9 Responses

  1. So is this YA or adult? I know she’s written both before. The only book I’ve read by her is that one dystopia she did, and I didn’t really like it. Some of the characters felt flat or stereotyped, and some of what they did made absolutely no sense with their character. I really feel like I should give her another chance, though, and this book sounds fascinating!

  2. This one totally intrigues me. Sometimes when the book starts off with a spooky premise, it ends up turning silly, but since this one has gotten pretty good reviews, I am assuming it stays strong. The fact that your notes couldn’t help in writing the review is a good sign!

  3. This one sounds really interesting. I haven’t heard of if before. I’m interested in the multiple narrators. Great review!

  4. Parts of it were not plausible (at all) really. Sure, stuff like that happened back in the day, but how they dealt with it didn’t work for me.

  5. I have heard varying things about this book, but I still really do want to read it. It sounds like there is a lot going on just under the surface, and I bet that it would be a quick and intriguing read for me. Great review today! I am thinking about picking this one up soon!

  6. Sounds like a good book to me!

  7. Sounds like a pretty good mystery, but it’s gotten so many mixed reviews that I’m not sure. There was a time when I was excited to read this and now I’m sort of indifferent.

  8. I was not a big fan of this book. I thought it was a bit of a mess actually but with some moments where I could see a book I would have wanted to read (mostly the sections with Mira).

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