I’ve been hearing a lot of things about this book, so when Simon and Schuster sent over a copy for me to read, I figured why not give it a chance.
Disclaimer: This review is my honest thoughts and not in any way shaped by Simon and Schuster.
I’m not a fan of thriller novels. The last one I read was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and if you’re into reading books, you’ve probably heard about it (shivers).
I think it’s something about that edge-of-your-seat-who-dunnit that I’m not a fan of because it weirdly gives me anxiety. Look at that, I’m a bookish person who has anxiety about life and death.
However, this novel is not your typical thriller. In fact, it’s not thriller enough and for some folks, I’m seeing some low-stars on Goodreads because of it.
Luckily for me, I’m big into literary fiction, so I decided to read it in that lens instead of as a thriller and what I found was a remarkably well-written novel about three characters coming to grips with who they are in the midst of a young girl being murdered.
For me, this is my kind of thriller. I love reading character-driven novels and if you’re looking for more of that and less of the blood and gore and anxiety-driven stuff then this might be Thriller Lite™ just for you.
Danya Kukafka is brilliant as a writer. Being a book editor may be helping her in that department, but she’s definitely got her own voice. It’s interesting and provocative without having to push the envelope on the story. You’re following these characters through the novel and you’re seeing how they cope with death.
There were three intertwining stories throughout. There was the boy who stalked her, the girl who loved her before she hated her, and the police officer set to help on the case amongst the challenges he faced being somewhat involved.
I found myself trying to guess which of the three was the person that killed Lucinda in the beginning of the novel. Obviously, you would think it was the stalker boy because who stalks a freshman in high school? Or it could have been the girl that hates her and was motivated to end her life, but do you think she could do it?
When I read in the end who it really was, I think that was when it snapped into place the truth of the novel; it doesn’t matter. The murder itself was a maguffin to the real story here. It played as the basis for these characters to grow and find themselves, but the murder wasn’t the real plot.
I love it when a novel makes you think more than just on the surface. I love when a novel lulls you in on this great journey only to show you that the journey has been inside yourself the entire time.
It was quite an adventure and a fun one at that. Yeah, there were a few issues with the length of the novel and the dragging, but if you’re a fan of true crime and thriller stories then this might not be the one for you.
You can find out more about this book on Goodreads.com