An interesting book, that was a little bit different than I had anticipated. Though, to be fair, I didn’t really know what to expect going in so any notions I had developed were purely speculative on my part. What I did find was a book full of twists and turns meant to keep everyone guessing, and to shed a potentially bad light on all four of the suspected parties. All four truly had a motive, and it was fun to try and sort out who did it and why.
While this book had it’s high points, and while I did enjoy it, I don’t feel it’s necessarily as high-praise worthy as some have made it out to be. It was a quick read for a Sunday afternoon, but I found nothing especially unique in the story. Here are some things I did like, however:
- The mystery! I did like that we got strung along fora while, sorting through all the possible suspects to search for an answer.
- Some of the characters were good. I enjoyed Nate the most out of all of them, and Addy the least. I felt like Nate had the most to add to the narrative, since his life was so wildly different from the others, and Addy’s voice just outright annoyed me. I was also vastly disinterested in her personal drama, it just didn’t click for me.
- The secrets that the kids were harboring. Bronwyn especially had an interesting secret, though it’s a little sad that it didn’t have nearly the impact that it could have on her “perfect” life.
- The way the media and others react to what is going on. That felt the most real of anything in the story by far! The way the kids were perceived by their peers and others hinged greatly on how they were being treated by the media. That happens to people in the real world all day, every day and so McManus did a great job in using that for a plot device!
There were other things I didn’t like so much about the book, primarily the way Cooper’s personal revelations are handled. I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t really go into detail, but that all bothered me quite a lot and took me a little bit out of the story. Not enough to totally ruin it, but enough to make me pause and try to sort out how I was feeling.
Also the big “twist” at the end. If you were paying any kind of attention to the story, it was pretty easy to see that coming fairly early on. It was something I considered as they talked more and more about the investigation, the evidence, and all that sort of stuff. I’m not talking specifically about the person who aided Simon in his plans and schemes, that I didn’t catch, but I’m talking about who actually did the bad deed. I called it very early in the story, so I felt very vindicated when I got to the end.
All in all I like what McManus created, and it was a fun couple of hours of reading. I didn’t hate it, that’s for sure, and I’d be interested in reading more of her work in the future.
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