The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen by Katherine Howe // Magic in the City

Monday, 9 May 2016
The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen, by Katherine Howe
Publication: September 15, 2015, by G.P. Putnam's Sons BFYR
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 379
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Rating: ½

It’s summertime in New York City, and aspiring filmmaker Wes Auckerman has just arrived to start his summer term at NYU. While shooting a séance at a psychic’s in the East Village, he meets a mysterious, intoxicatingly beautiful girl named Annie.
As they start spending time together, Wes finds himself falling for her, drawn to her rose-petal lips and her entrancing glow. There’s just something about her that he can’t put his finger on, something faraway and otherworldly that compels him to fall even deeper. Annie’s from the city, and yet she seems just as out of place as Wes feels. Lost in the chaos of the busy city streets, she’s been searching for something—a missing ring. And now Annie is running out of time and needs Wes’s help. As they search together, Annie and Wes uncover secrets lurking around every corner, secrets that will reveal the truth of Annie’s dark past.

My Thoughts:

After reading Katherine Howe's Conversion, I realized that I became extremely enticed with the genre of fantasy, though mixed in with elements from the real world. This time around, we have a male protagonist who takes readers (crazy fanatics such as myself who are hungry for a new fictional boyfriend) on a story through the streets of Waverly Place in NYC, my second home, where he unexpectedly meets a girl named Annie who honestly changes the way he functions throughout his summer in the 'city.' This is an addicting story that captivated me a while back where that golden hand/doorknob on the cover kind of glimmered at me. I am pretty sure it was just me who saw this. Let me know in the comments if you saw that special glimmer of shine too.

The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen was wonderful, lovely even. It is one of those gentle stories that provide an understanding to readers that won't always be seen unless you feel a special connection to the setting, characters or message. Yeah, this did not make me cry or have my inner-heartfelt-emotions explode, but I was connected to Wes, the main character. Interestingly enough, Howe places readers in the busiest place in the world for 379 pages, filled with so much drama that we could all go mad and have so many stories to tell or make up as if they were our own. It is one of those stories that makes absolute sense, even though it is pure fiction. I do not think we're going to go through this time-traveling-like mesmerizing experience in our own lives, that's for sure. 

"In Dad's mind, New York was for people too hungry for life to be anywhere else. I wasn't hungry enough. I was too safe, behind my camera. I would never just show up in Port Authority without a place to stay. I wouldn't play guitar in the subway for spare change. [...] Even when I think I'm living, I'm still just watching."

My most favourite thing about this book is Wes. I adore his character! The fact that he is in the situation of living in this new place and having to undergo this fantasy-like situation is pretty comical, if you ask me. Although the novel was boring for a big chunk, especially through the beginning and middle, I was satisfied with the decisions he made. And yes, this book was seriously boring, no joke. Unlike Conversion, which was stupendous throughout, this one turned out to be gloomy from time to time. It's such a big story and I felt that less was needed. 

Was that a love triangle my friends? Yes, it sadly was. I kind of twitched when I actually realized that it was happening. Oh, well. 

"Now that I've seen her, I feel like she can never be unseen. She looks... I suck at describing people, and beautiful feels especially pathetic. But the truth is, I don't understand how I haven't been staring at her the whole time we've been here."

My experience with this book cannot be unseen. I have mixed feelings, people!

The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen was a heavy read, I cannot deny it. I felt really awkward at the points where it became slow and drowsy, I inwardly wanted to put it down. Towards the end, things picked up and I realized who the real star of the show is and who Wes' love interest should be. (I cannot spoil it, but here's a hint: normal chick). I find that everyone may have mixed feelings with this story, and the only way to discover is by reading it. Check out Howe's first book, though, you may be more satisfied, actually.

What is your favourite fantasy book of the year? Do you like Katherine Howe's writing?

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