The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen

The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen

Downloadable Audiobook - 2015
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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 in the East Village, he meets a mysterious, intoxicating girl named Annie. As they start spending time together, Wes finds himself falling for her but there's something about her that he can't put his finger on. Why does she use such strange slang? Why does he only seem to run into her on one block near the Bowery?
Publisher: [New York] :, Listening Library (Audio),, [2015].
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9781101926109
1101926104
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 sound file) : digital
Summary: 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 in the East Village, he meets a mysterious, intoxicating girl named Annie. As they start spending time together, Wes finds himself falling for her but there's something about her that he can't put his finger on. Why does she use such strange slang? Why does he only seem to run into her on one block near the Bowery?

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goddessbeth
Dec 29, 2015

I'm familiar with Katherine Howe's books (read three, liked 2, 1 was 'meh' for me), so I was hoping this one would be solid. And it is. And part of what I enjoyed about it is that Howe's books each have a distinctive voice and pacing (as well as, of course, concept, narrator, and setting). She's clearly talented enough to be a bit of a chameleon, though magical realism is a uniting thread among her novels.

Things I really liked about this story: I don't know NYC, but the way it's described sounds authentic without overreaching in an effort to seem very New Yorker; likewise, there's a lot of passion for film, references to film styles and tech, and nods to how film aficionados view the world and even though I'm not a movie maker, I felt like I understood these references and they lent believability to Wes and his situation; the concept of a ghost story that isn't all about a person-ghost, but primarily about the past (especially past-place) as a ghost; the ending (and the nod to consequences); the concept that you can change the past (which makes this, in my mind, a time travel story as well); the diversity of personality in the supporting cast; the plethora of small historically-accurate details in the past sequences (I love a book that educates *and* entertains).

Things I didn't care for about this story: Wes' devolving into a child when he's dealing with his parents, despite being really self-possessed and wise all other times (this is probably true-to-life for those in their late teens, but it frustrated me); I never felt the chemistry between Wes and Annie, aside from his focus on her "perfect" looks (and maybe that was exactly what it was supposed to be, given the ending and all); the pacing flagged in places for me and made me question whose story this was; the characters are great (and flawed, and felt well-developed), but I never clicked with any of them.

I did adore the Author's Note. I always adore an Author's Note, especially when they have something intelligent to say and/or information to impart regarding the historical setting. The Author's Note made me want to know Katherine Howe, so we could go out for coffee and scones and talk old houses and great books.

One note: I listened to this as an audiobook, and it was well narrated (especially Jesse Bernstein, who read Wes' narration).

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