People are not mirrors – they don’t see you how you see yourself.
a careful, careful tiptoe review for a book whose hook is how twisty its twists, how shocking its conclusion.
the publisher-letter slipped into this ARC says:
It has an ending that completely messes with your head in the very best sense – and if you can see it coming, you’re smarter than everyone I know!
which is the best way to sell a book to me.
i’m positive that i’m not smarter than anyone anyone knows, but i read a lot, and pursuing that english degree in my youth both diminished my chances of amassing great material wealth and also ruined me for many of these “twists for days” books. you’re trained to close-read, you’re gonna close-read. and unlike a lot of readers, i’d rather be surprised than validated. i get angry if i figure things out too soon – you had one job, writer! fool me!
but this book did not make me angry. i figured out jo’s deal pretty early on, but nearly everything else was a delightful surprise.
as far as plotting goes, it’s pretty tight. it cheats a little, but you were warned by the title and the opening bit that there would be some misdirection coming your way:
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.
the story alternates between three different points in amber’s life: now/then/before. or more precisely, in coma/leading up to coma/childhood journal, and it’s full of messy relationships, tangled secrets, plots, lies, and much shade.
it’s a fun ride full of toxic people with plenty to chew on. and the promises of
you’re a twist! and you’re a twist! and you’re a twist! are no lie.
at the end of it all i have a couple of blurry areas – some timeline turbulence, some questions about edward and some miscellaneous loose ends, but for the most part it was fun smooth sailing. i read it in one day (or one night, since my night job has made me a daysleeper), in a mad dash to get ALL THE ANSWERS!, and if ever there was a one-sitting book, it’s this one. call in sick and be cozy. you have four months to work on your fake cough.
FOUR AND A HALF
this is one hell of a debut. and it requires a careful careful tiptoe review.
which will come SOON – i got behind again – eep!