This was not only my first introduction to Sarah Pinborough’s writing, but also a reacquaintance with the mystery genre. And it definitely did not disappoint.
by Sarah Pinborough
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Genre: YA Mystery / Thriller
Format Read: Kindle
Source: Author for Review
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Disclaimer – I will try to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible but a little might leak through. Reader be warned 😉
Not being a regular mystery / thriller reader, I was a little worried going into this book that it was going to be a meh-type book. The synopsis is what initially pulled me in (described by The Times of London as “Mean Girls for the Instagram age.”) With a tagline like that, how could I not be intrigued?
One thing I noticed (and this is either because of the cultural differences between the US and the UK – or my warped memory of simpler high school days) but the characters seemed more adult than high school. Sex and drugs were very frequent activities for the main characters. That was a bit of a problem for me because this is a YA book and I like my YA to be a little less adult. It wasn’t enough, however, to pull me out of the story.
How about the characters?
Tasha – she’s the one who drowns in the river and is revived after 13 minutes. I’ll be blunt. I didn’t like her. She’s this whiny, spoiled, b****y Barbie right from the start, though she successfully covers it up for a lot of the book.
Becca – very insecure. Dumped by Tasha when the Barbie got popular then brought back in as confidant when Tasha suddenly can’t trust her Barbie best friends. She is clever, though. Most of the “detective” work done in this book seems to be done by Becca and she’s actually pretty good at it. I didn’t like how wishy-washy she was, though. When Tasha calls, Becca comes running and all but drops her friend, Hannah. Not cool. Which brings me to . . .
Hannah – doormat. I think she was the only really decent character in the book and she let Becca walk all over her. But, had she had more of a spine, she wouldn’t have played the part she needed to for this book. Well done, Hannah.
Hayley / Jenny – Barbies. Criminal masterminds? No. Scorned best friends? Yea. Somewhat psychotic? Absolutely. Hayley seems like at one point she was a normal person but Jenny is just a slut.
Aiden – Douche. Pawn, but douche.
The plot on this book was very well done, with the exception of a lull about 60% of the way through. Again, the lull worked in the story’s favor but I did get a little bored for a bit. Then little clues start popping up and everything really cranks up. Great ending. Creepy ending, but great! All in all, I enjoyed this book!