Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Thriller
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
4 OUT OF 5 STARS
Disclaimer: A copy of this novel was received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Victoria is quiet, she doesn’t have any friends at school. She suffers from anxiety and struggles through everyday – but her boyfriend, Andrew, makes everyday worth it. Victoria’s life is enough for her until her world is turned upside down by a handsome new kid, Z. She falls for him harder than she’s ever fallen before, but something terrible is going to happen and her connection to Z is the start of it all.
Balog expertly crafts a story full of lust, love, thrills and mystery. Z is to die for. He’s a perfect blend of charm and good looks while maintaining an unscrupulous air. Victoria plays the innocent lamb role while hiding a more thrill seeking side and even the classic mean girls aren’t quite what they seem. It’s impossible not to fall in love with Z as Victoria does, in fact it’s hard not to feel all of Victoria’s feelings along with her.
The writing style was particularly unique. Written as a message being recorded by Victoria as she lies wounded to her boyfriend Andrew the book opens with the reader knowing something terrible will happen by the end. Each chapter opens with a newspaper clipping about the murder to come or an interview with a teacher, parent or classmate. It’s incredibly successful at building suspense towards the eventual crime. Who is the murderer? How did things go so badly? It’s hard to put the book down when you need to know so badly.
An absolutely shocking ending. There are a lot of ways I predicted the story could go but I never even considered the way it went. Despite going into the book knowing there would be a twist I didn’t manage to see it coming and that is a feat all it’s own. However the twist isn’t entirely satisfying. It leaves several parts of the story feeling wrong. There are certainly parts of the story that foreshadow the twist, but there are parts that barely make sense when reread with the twist in mind.
A nearly perfect thriller, although it could have done with either a slightly altered ending or better foreshadowing it’ll definitely hit home with mystery and romance fans alike.