This was buddy read with Nicki @The Secret Library! In this post you can find both mine and Nicki’s review of the book!
When Louise first notices the new girl who has mysteriously transferred late into their senior year, Maria seems to be everything the girls Louise hangs out with aren’t. Authentic. Funny. Brash. Uncensored and unapologetic. Days into their acquaintance, Maria and Louise are quickly on their way to becoming fast friends.
Decades later, when Maria reaches out over social media, Louise’s heart nearly stops. Long-buried memories quickly rise to the surface–those first days of their budding connection, the awful judgment of the young women who felt at the time like her sole gateway to belonging. The fateful, tragic night that would change all their lives forever.
Her entire adult life, Louise has known if the truth ever came out, she could stand to lose everything. Her job. Her son. Her freedom. Maria’s sudden reemergence threatens it all, and forces Louise to reconnect with everyone she’d severed ties with to get away from the past. Trying to piece together exactly what happened that night, she soon discovers there’s much she didn’t know. The only certainty is that Maria Weston disappeared that night, never to be heard from again–until now.
Honestly, I went into this one just because I needed to read it before publication, but I wasn’t exactly excited about it. I just thought it was going to be another throwaway thriller – fun while I was reading it, but nothing special. I was certainly surprised when I went into it and it sucked me in straight away! Unfortunately, its ending was a major let down and I can’t see me using this as a recommendation when someone asks.
One of the great things about this novel is that there are lots of characters to try and pin the blame on. You think you’re happy with a theory you’ve come up with and then all of a sudden something pops up with someone else and you get suspicious again. I love novels like this where you can’t make up your mind on who you think the bad guy is!
I also enjoyed the writing in this one. I’m not saying it’s anything super special, it’s reasonably simple and there aren’t a lot of beautiful descriptions of things, but it’s easy to read and definitely keeps you reading. I also thought the characters in this novel were very believable which isn’t always the easiest to do, so props to Marshall for that!
Now, for the negative. Agh, both me and Nicki were so disappointed by the ending of this one! Personally, I felt that all the build up to the reveal led to something very mediocre. Nicki came up with such an excellent ending about Maria that I was so sure she had got it right because it would have been amazing! But, alas, It was not what we thought and turned out to be something much more boring.
I don’t want to give anything away by saying too much but at the end, there are two reveals and one of them felt like it was put into the story just for the sake of having another “dun, dun, dunnn” moment. It was still good for concluding the novel but it was a bit left field.
I also think some parts of the book dragged out a bit and could have been edited back. It would have been punchier and quicker had a few bits been taken out.
I don’t hate this novel, but I also don’t love it. It was definitely a page turner to begin with, but it slowly got less interesting and then ended on a downer. I would have definitely given it 4 stars had it not been for the ending.
Thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for giving me the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.
So, what would you do if someone you’d gone to school with, but had sadly died years ago, sends you a friend request on Facebook? Would you accept it or would you immediately think it couldn’t be possible and delete it? I know it would freak me out and probably make me stay away from Facebook for days, but of course that wouldn’t make a fast paced psychological thriller though, would it?
This started off really creepily and had me flipping the pages on my device so quickly I couldn’t get enough of it. As the story developed and Louise, the main character, became more unsure of what was going on, I really like the way it was headed. As with reading any thriller there were so many suspects amongst the cast of minor characters, but that also meant that there were probably lots of red herrings. This was a great way to draw me in and had me constantly wondering and changing my mind as to what was going on.
Unfortunately for me as got past the halfway mark I got very irritated with the main character’s emotions, and the way she was behaving, making some of the plot rather far-fetched. I kept reading though because I really wanted to find out what was going on. The first twist was okay, but towards the end of the book, the second twist felt like it was from a different book, with something much darker going on that I personally felt didn’t fit in with the original story.
Even though I was disappointed I still think this would be a good book if you don’t normally read this genre.
Thanks so much to NetGalley, and Little Brown Group UK, Sphere for my digital copy.