Eating Sarah by Jaret Martens – A Review

 This one is going to be a little different.  Okay, a lot different.  So hang on to your hats.
Title:  Eating Sarah
Author:  Jaret Martens
Genre:  Teen Fiction, Horror, Suspense/Thriller
Synopsis:  Ever since Sarah was young, all she could dream about was participating in The Hunt — a monthly event in which her people sneak into the nearby cities and villages to gather food. And in Sarah’s world, the food they feast on most is human flesh.
 

In the deep forests of the Rocky Mountains, Sarah lives in a community of man-eaters. With Fall ending and hunger running rampant, Sarah and her cannibalistic community are forced to change the rules of their Hunt. And with these changes come new risks. When her first Hunt ends in catastrophe, and one of her only friends is lost, Sarah is sentenced to work in the slaughter shack.

Among the dead and dying, Sarah is introduced to Troy: a man she knows she will be forced to kill. As her life crumbles around her, her feelings for Troy grow, along with the knowledge that, if anyone discovers her secret, she will find herself in his place.

With nowhere to turn, and Troy’s time running out, Sarah becomes set on leaving. But, in accordance with their laws, to leave would be to dishonor the family name and, in turn, cause their deaths. As suspicions of mutiny within the colony rise, everyone is watched and every move Sarah makes could be her last.

And then there are the bodies–the ones that are unmistakably their own, complete with missing limbs and markings that oddly look like bite marks.

Boundaries are pushed, allegiances broken, and the very question of what it means to be human is called into play.

About the Author:  Jaret seems like a cool guy.  I follow him on Twitter and we had a couple conversations, so don’t feel jealous; I am just really lucky!  You can find his bio on his blog here.  You can follow him on Twitter here.
First Impression:  What the %!#$ did I get myself into?
I had the honor of obtaining an ARC (Advanced Review/Reader Copy).  The publisher sent me an e-mail with a PDF and I got to reading.  I’d like to point out that, by reading the synopsis portion of this post, you knew more than I did going in – mainly because I was so excited to have an ARC I didn’t read the rest of the e-mail, which had the aforementioned run down.  My bad.
I really enjoyed the perspective from which it’s told.  You have your main character, Sarah, who lives in a community of cannibals.  There.  I said it.  Not one-eyed, one-horned, flying, or purple.  Humans eating humans in a post-apocalyptic world.  Read the title – it really could only go two ways.  A relative asked if it was horror or porn (I was 15 pages in); I replied, “Neither, so far”.  Not your average POV.  I think that was my point.  Oh!  And surprise – only one person’s view.  No dual POV in this one!  It’s omniscient, but… well, you get the idea.
Overall it was well-written, yet understated, though I’m unsure of why it’s being marketed as ‘teen horror’.  To be honest, it’s not all that scary.  It’s just cannibals.  From Sarah’s POV, it’s completely normal.  Suspense, yes.  Thrills, yes.  Horror?  I guess it depends on your definition.  It even has mystery, which, as you know, I can’t resist.
You will spend most of the book confused, but in a totally good way that keeps you reading well into the night. There are so many layers! You think you’ve finally understood something, then BAM! Nope. You were wrong. Or you were right, but you were hoping you were wrong. Either way.*
I’d like to point out that this is Jaret’s debut novel, so for him to step out of the box like this is even more impressive.  Raw talent. Since this is his first, I’m excited to see how his writing progresses!  Especially since there’s a rumored sequel…
Final Thoughts: It was reminiscent of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, but in a less confusing way. For those of you out there who actually understood that movie, you’ll dig this book. The rest of you… well, you’ll just have to trust me. Read it!*
 
My Suggestion:  This book isn’t set to release until sometime in August this year (2014), according to the publisher’s website.  Keep an eye out for it.  You won’t regret reading it!
Star Rating:
*excerpt taken from my Goodreads review, found here.
Disclaimer: I have not been compensated in any way for this review (with the exception of the free ARC) and all opinions contained herein are my own and in no way reflect the ideas or opinions of people or sites I may reference.  This is intended for entertainment purposes only.
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