Fans of Pretty Little Liars will be ensnared in this tale of deceit.
The first time Lou meets mysterious Christian, she knows he is The One. But Christian is hiding a terrible secret. Why does he clam up every time Lou asks about his past? Why doesn’t he have any family photos, and why does he dye his blond hair black? When Christian’s house goes up in flames, his tires are slashed, and he flees for his life, Lou insists on going with him. But as Christian’s secret is unveiled in front of the whole world, it seems everything he’s ever told Lou is a lie. Can what the media are saying about him really be true? Should Lou trust him? Or is she in grave danger? And what if their accidental meeting wasn’t an accident at all…? – Goodreads
This book is, above all, a mystery. Don’t be fooled by the cover or the beginning of the book (which leans heavily towards a slow-burn love story). It’s got romance, but at its heart, it’s a murder mystery.
Thanks to its crime-solving core, the best part of this book was the pace. It’s fast, it’s suspenseful – it is the very definition of a page-turner. Though I found I was able to guess some of the major plot points, there were enough twists and turns getting there to keep my full attention.
I think the biggest problem for me, the one that pulled me out of the story, was the melodramatic tone. There are all kinds of gasps and widened eyes and shocked expressions. Not only that, but there are also lots of “meet-cute” (heavy on the “cute”) moments featuring occurrences that you can see coming from a mile away. Like this one:
“Oh crap, I’m having a really bad week!” He bursts into laughter. I stare at him. “Why are you laughing?”
“I don’t know!” he chuckles. “[…removed for spoiler…]What else could go wrong?”
As if in answer, a van suddenly roars round the corner and splashes straight through a large puddle, drenching us from head to toe. We stare at each other for a moment, then collapse in hysterics.
“You had to ask, didn’t you!” I laugh.
“Come on!” he yells at the sky. “Is that the best you can do?” […]
“Don’t!” I flick some mud at him and accidentally splatter his face. His eyes widen.
“I’m sorry!” I giggle. “I didn’t mean –” A lump of cold mud hits me square on the ear and I shriek. Suddenly it becomes all-out war, as we flick and splash mud at each other mercilessly, till finally I hold my hands up in surrender.– p. 137-8
Now I’m not against cute – nor do I have a problem with some fun romance. Particularly in a YA book. And if it had just been one or two bits like the one above, okay. But I found that the amount of eye-rolls per chapter increased as the book went on, and by the end I was torn between wanting to know for sure what really happened to Lou’s cousin, and finding it really difficult to read. Call it a personal preference, but I like a bit more subtlety in my romantic encounters.
That said, if you aren’t bothered by heavy-on-the-cute dialogue and minor plot points that seem a bit contrived – and if you like a good mystery – you’ll probably really enjoy this book. It’s kind of like a cross between a romance and Gone Girl. It’s a quick read, and one that will probably keep you up past your bedtime, so if you’re looking for a light and entertaining YA mystery, give it a try.
**Thanks to Random House of Canada for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Author: Katie Dale
Published By: Doubleday Canada
Released: December 9, 2014
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller, Romance
Date Read: December 7-14, 2014