Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
As excited as I was for this book I was hoping to enjoy it more than I did, this was a pretty big disappointment. It wasn’t a terrible book but it was just very unimpressive to me, I expected a lot more from it.
First of all this is supposed to be a mystery/thriller where you were suspicious of every character, I mean they’re potential murder suspects! However, I didn’t feel really at all throughout my reading that these characters were murderers, nobody seemed sneaky enough or vengeful enough to have actually done it. In a murder mystery/whodunnit you need to sell me on all of these suspects and I just wasn’t sold. I wasn’t second-guessing anyone, I wasn’t thrilled, and I wasn’t stumped about the mystery.
This was pretty fast-paced and did keep me interested enough in the story as it was told in four different POVs, however, I felt that the POVs really blended together. I would be deep into a chapter told from Cooper’s perspective and still think I was reading Bronwyn’s. That shouldn’t be happening, kind of hard to get into everyone’s inner monologues when I forget whose I’m reading.
I thought many of the twists were predictable or when they weren’t they didn’t pack much of a punch. Which is probably why this book was so disappointing for me, because mystery/thriller’s should be a lot more…..thrilling.
I really liked that this set up was a nod to The Breakfast Club but really the only similarity was that there was detention for a few pages and each character fits into a stereotype. That’s as far as the similarities go though which was a little disappointing. But I still really enjoyed the reference overall.
Also that ending and the reveal at the end was a little ridiculous and actually made the entire book sort of pointless. I was just….”Really? That was it? Why?” It did make sense but it was all really odd and not at all what I thought I was signing up for when I started the book.
Overall, it was a great and very interesting IDEA but just really failed on execution.
The characters were the only point in the story that kept me reading. They each developed a lot throughout the story and had a decent amount of complexity. However, as I already mentioned it was a little hard to tell at times whose POV I was reading. Yes, it does start each POV switch with the name and date but I STILL got lost and had a hard time trying to remember whose POV I was reading. The characters were all a little too similar at times.
Each character fits directly into a stereotype or cliche which in any other case would have been annoying but with this book it worked. This is supposed to be a nod towards The Breakfast Club since each character is a Brain, Beauty, Criminal, Athlete, and an Outcast. I loved how each character owned up to their labels and “rebelled” against them in their own ways by the end of the story.
There is a tiny bit of diversity with a Latino character and a LGBT character, although it is kind of skated over which was disappointing.
However, I didn’t really click with any of the characters and none of them were all that memorable for me.
There’s a couple of different romances scattered throughout the book but the main romance is between Bronwyn and Nate. It was just sort of okay and I was kind of bored with it. The only nice thing about their romance is that it was slow-burn, no insta-love or other YA romance tropes here!
Overall this was an okay read and it seems to be a case of “It’s not you, it’s me” for me with this book. It could definitely be a good read for others especially for those of you who may not necessarily read a ton of YA mystery/thrillers, it will make this one less predictable for you!
What I Loved:
- It was pretty fast-paced
- The characters were alright
- The romance wasn’t filled with tropes
- A bit of diversity
- The Breakfast Club reference (because it’s awesome)
What I Didn’t Love:
- Fairly predictable
- The ending/reveal was a bit ridiculous
- I didn’t FEEL anything during the story or for the characters
- POVs blended together
Meh. I can’t say I personally would go around recommending this to anyone because I found it to be really boring and predictable for the most part, However, like I said this could still be enjoyable for you if you haven’t read a ton of otherYA mystery/thrillers.
Katie and Eric Knox have dedicated their lives to their fifteen-year-old daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful. But when a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community just weeks before an all-important competition, everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels suddenly at risk. As rumors swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself drawn, irresistibly, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate. From a writer with “exceptional gifts for making nerves jangle and skin crawl,” (Janet Maslin) You Will Know Me is a breathless rollercoaster of a novel about the desperate limits of desire, jealousy, and ambition.
I’ve heard a lot of mixed things about Megan Abbott’s books, it seems people either love them or hate them……I loved it! I will definitely be looking forward to reading more of her books now!
This will be a shorter review than normal because I’m not really sure what to expand on in a book like this without revealing too much!
I’d like to call this book a thriller but it really isn’t it’s more of a family drama that has some murder mystery/thriller vibes. It’s just so suspenseful and addictive I could not put this book down once I got into it, it was almost hard to remember this was the story of one family at times. There definitely isn’t a lack of drama here!
The writing in this book, as I said, is just so addictive it was amazing how Abbott could take something potentially tedious such as a family’s every day routine and make it so suspenseful! Everything from Katie’s marriage concerns to the viciousness of gymnastics and the rumors that accompany both was made to feel way more terrifying. The pacing almost goes at break-neck speed, there was rarely a dull moment in this book.
There was also a fair share of plot twists that I honestly did not see coming, sure I saw some of them coming but definitely not all of them. So many secrets and lies, there are characters manipulating at every turn! However, there was so much more to it than a simple murder. Abbott really delves into the characterizations and into how the messy minds of teenage girls work and that’s honestly what drives the story the most. I would say this book is really about people politics.
Also just on a side note I really enjoyed the gymnastics aspect of the story and loved how big of a role it played throughout.
While I did think the characters were pretty good in this book I also didn’t really LIKE any of them which I feel like Abbott was actually going for. They fight dirty, keep secrets, manipulate, and even refuse to see what’s right in front of them, this book really showed that there’s bad in everyone.
I think the characters with the most personality would have to be Katie and her son Drew, they were more interesting to read about since they usually had other things going on. Whereas, Eric and Devon were almost fully focused on gymnastics. I have to say though that Drew was the smartest person in the entire story, he knew EXACTLY what was going on but without full knowing what it was. The child knew and all of the adults didn’t. Just saying.
What I Loved:
- The strong plot with plenty of drama, twists, and turns
- The writing was downright addictive
- Fast pacing and never a dull moment
What I Didn’t Love
- Some of the plot twists were predictable
- I didn’t really care a whole lot for the characters
I definitely recommend checking this book out especially if you’re into mystery/thrillers or family dramas because it’s a bit of both.
It was the perfect trip…until it wasn’t.
Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.
As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who she can trust and what she’s capable of, Jill desperately tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.
Two pretty girls, an exotic foreign location, mystery as to why I did it, and the potential for revenge and jealousy to be the cause. It didn’t matter what the truth was — what mattered was that it was fun to talk about.
Tell me that quote didn’t snag you right there.
This book is fun, a lot of fun and I devoured it in one sitting so that says a lot right there since I usually don’t read books so fast. However, while “With Malice” is a very fun, quick read it’s not anything game-changing, not something super unique it’s actually quite similar to a lot of other YA thrillers but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. And if “With Malice” is one thing it is definitely enjoyable.
I know how hard it is for us bookworms to not read a description before reading a book but honestly with this one I think it’s better to go in 100% blind. There are a few great twists in the first couple of chapters that are completely spoiled in the book’s summary. So I frown upon that but it can’t really be helped and I’m sorry this warning may have come a little too late already!
“With Malice” is very fast-paced and keeps the pages turning, your thirst for answers will have you finishing it in no time! I loved how deceptive Jill’s narrative was, we can’t quite trust what she’s telling us or the memories she slowly starts to recover. Who doesn’t love a questionable narrator? Jill’s amnesia and the overall mystery are really what drive the whole story and make it interesting, everyone is pointing fingers at her and she can’t remember a damn thing. It’s just intense, we’re left wondering what the hell is going on the entire time!
This isn’t a dark thriller or even a very twisted one but that doesn’t take away from it at all, of course you have the final big twist but honestly it wasn’t very predictable at all and I loved it. I had to cover up the next pages so I wouldn’t skip ahead and read! Eileen Cook does an excellent job of deceiving us throughout the story and more than likely you won’t see the ending coming either. Speaking of the ending it is great but also a little unsatisfying, I wanted something a bit more conclusive but I think that just adds a bit more to the story so I’m not too mad.
I also really enjoyed how the media and the public were portrayed throughout the story, using every little thing Jill has ever said or done to brand her a murderer. They were cold, they were vicious, and it really added to the tension. It really just made me root for Jill the entire time though.
There’s also no real romance in this one, so if that’s a plus for you, hooray!
Really the only character I thought or cared about was Jill, everyone else was pretty flimsy and disposable. “With Malice” is definitely not a character driven story and it shows.
I actually really enjoyed Jill right away, I found her sense of humor to be amusing and I just wanted to root for her the entire time because of the amnesia and the way the media treated her. Jill is a bit of a bookworm and cares more about her academics than boys and she’s also loyal to a fault, especially when it comes to her best friend Simone. I found Jill to be a quite relateable character and her narrative really stuck out to me, I mean come on what book lover can’t relate to a fellow bookworm?
As far as some of the other characters go such as Simone or Anna (Jill’s rehab buddy), it’ll be hard to trust your first impressions since we’re seeing the world through Jill’s POV and she doesn’t remember the last 6 weeks. I really liked how easily my opinion of a character could shift based on certain information, you can’t quite trust anyone.
Really the best way for me to describe “With Malice” is to repeat myself, it’s just a fun and fast book. That’s just all there is to it, it’s not dark or very twisted but just an enjoyable little mystery/thriller that will keep you guessing and turning pages.
Definitely. If you’re looking for a quick read this summer then “With Malice” is worth a look!
WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.
NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.
HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.
Gillian Flynn has NEVER failed to disappoint me with a book, I have now read all three of her novels and they are all simply amazing . Was “Sharp Objects” amazing too? Yes. Is it my favorite of her books? No. That, however, does not mean it is any less impressive than “Dark Places” or “Gone Girl”. If you are a fan of Flynn’s too, then you will find this book to be as appealing as both of her others.
What You’ll Love:
- A mystery that you won’t be able to guess right until it’s revealed at the end of the book.
- Complex characters with secrets to hide and deep psychological problems.
- A plot that grabs your full attention and keeps the twists coming.
- Women being the major players.
Things That May Not Be Your Cup of Tea:
- Graphic violence, abuse, drug use, etc.
- The pacing could be considered slow to some people.
- The mystery is not solved until the very, VERY end of the book.
It’s haunting, creepy, atmospheric, and thrilling. Flynn captures your attention as well as your imagination and doesn’t let go until you’ve finished reading. It is also very descriptive in all of the right ways, you get every insight imaginable. You’ll get creeped out and uncomfortable but it will be worth it, trust me.
Absolutely twisted and thrilling, this book’s plot was flawless in my eyes. You will not see these twists coming either, Flynn is a master of taking your attention away from certain details even though she does give them to you. That’s why you never see it coming. It’s also ALL about nasty women, you think men are the problem? Think again, not in this story. The plot revolves around reporter Camille Preaker as she returns to her hometown to write about the killings of two young girls, if that doesn’t pique your interest I don’t know what will. I would NOT read this if you are squeamish or in any way easily unsettled because with “Sharp Objects” you are in for a nasty piece of work. Nasty and unsettling in every way and still undoubtedly perfection. Once you finish you will be thinking “What the fuck did I just read” I guarantee it, I know I did.
Oh yes, the characters are the best part of any psychological thriller but ESPECIALLY one of Gillian Flynn’s. They are deeply complex, twisted, and as I said before nasty. We don’t get to just explored their minds though, oh no, we get to explore their problems and man do these ladies have problems. You could get introduced to a character you see one time in the story and still get that feeling of knowing their every secret. “Sharp Objects” is definitely a study into the dark side of human nature. Camille is not a shining protagonist of perfection, no she is seriously messed up but then again….so is everyone else. You can’t trust anyone.
“Sharp Objects” is overall a very dark and thrilling ride, I highly HIGHLY recommend reading it Although it isn’t the most comfortable of reads, so consider yourselves warned!