by Karen M. McManus
A mystery book with fascinating, layered characters with an exhaustingly clever plot and shocking conclusion – there are few and far between.
For a debut novel, I think McManus did everything perfectly. I am always worried, going into a mystery, that the endings will become more and more predictable and way less fun, the more I read. But thankfully, this book didn’t disappoint! I was guessing from the second chapter and went back and forth between countless theories before I settled on (the wrong) one. I definitely considered the actual ending but I thought it would be too unrealistic or difficult to write and make sense. Clearly this just proves McManus’ creativity and skill is not to be challenged! This book was so unique, clever and unlike anything I’ve read before.
I loved The Breakfast Club element so so much! If you have ever seen the film, even once, I’m sure you know the dynamic and relationships between each member of The Breakfast Club is so special and makes the film so incredibly beautiful. I definitely saw the similarities between the TBC cast and the characters in this book, even beyond the ‘titles’ that each character wears.
Simon was a difficult character for me – obviously he’s not featured alive for too long, so you really get to know his character through the memories other people have. At the beginning, despite all the awful things I know he did to other people, I couldn’t help but kinda love the semi-evil side he had. But it didn’t take long for me to join the main characters in this book for disliking Simon for the things he did.
Speaking of hate, JAKE. I cannot stand that boy! Which I know is the point, so I guess it’s okay, but still. He was initiating the abusive relationship between him and Addy and was just pure evil and probably insane. I’m so happy he got what he deserved in the end, it’s just sad everyone else had to be put through so much because he was a psychopath.
Disclaimer: I was sent this book on a read-to-review basis from Penguin Random House UKs Children and NetGalley. All opinions are my own.