Review #280

I rated this a 3.7/5 stars. This standalone book of the month selection was a suspenseful mystery with family drama, sabotage, lies, secrets, & unravelings. There were many points of view and the writing felt a bit dry overall. 

Here’s my thoughts while reading. 

The prologue shows that Amaya is a neurotic woman who possibly ruined a wedding by the unthinkable-murdering the bride. Now she’s locked in her hotel room and being questioned. Let’s see where this goes! 

Her anxiety is hard for me to deal with because the OCD & control-based characters aren’t comfortable for me to read. So this shows the author did a great job of putting me in that head space but it’s the one head space I really don’t want to go in when reading. This is my release and escape and I can’t do that when the protagonist shows high anxiety. Oh and social media in books also isn’t my thing. I like reading contemporary where things feel real but that’s hard to do when I’m wanting the author to avoid current technology. 

The interview style is interesting because it’s only dialogue and no way to read into his gestures and nonverbal body language for me to determine if I like the character or can trust them. Spencer doesn’t sound to be fully in shock. He also doesn’t seem to be desperately worried. Maybe he’s a bit in denial? But it’s not how I’d be responding. I’d be desperate and freaking out. He seems much too calm. 

The obsessiveness is super cockroach-skin-crawling yucky. The jealousy and sabotage and accusations are all “nails on a chalkboard” vibe. Now it seems like a social media scandal to gain more views and followers. The whole thing feels messed up but the plot concept is brilliant on the author’s end. Amanda has captured the creepy energy so well. But almost too much because I’m not “enjoying it.” Like it’s written really well for an audience that isn’t me. 

Chapter 4 was a bit boring and all these names are starting to get confusing of who is who. 

They’re getting cut off too in dialogue too often – it’s a bit repetitive of an obstacle to learning more info. 

Her fist interaction with Spencer is what I’ve been waiting for.

The self inflicting pain part is hard to read. Mental health is important y’all.  

What’s in the envelope? 

At one point it became more of a hardship and relationship between two friends instead of a boy situation. Once I got to the 60% mark I noticed myself skimming more when the plot revolved around financials. The police interviews kept taking me out of the story.   

Will there ever be a villain who isn’t abusive to women? 

End thoughts- I was glad to be done. I’m not sure how much I liked this overall because of the constant manipulation, how much the characters cared about their reputation and one of the admission off-dialogue in the last chapter about their “backup plan.” These characters felt shallow, vain, and I didn’t relate to them. I was glad to read about a different culture than mine which was refreshing to have another perspective but this story didn’t do it for me.

Published by CassieSwindon

Fiction author

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