Published by HMH on October 6th, 2016
That’s all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths.
Is the one person she trusts only telling her half the story? Nothing is as it seems in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the debut author Emiko Jean.
When I first read the synopsis for this book last summer, I was excited. This book sounded very much like something I was going to love. I was in LOVE with the cover, which is what had caught my eye first, even before I had read the synopsis. I was planning to read it around Halloween, but I just didn’t get to it. So I put it in my list of options for my January TBR and hoped I’d finally get to it.
This book was supposed to hook me from the very beginning, and the prologue did that. The prologue immediately sucked me into the story and I found myself very curious about the twin sisters, Alice & Cellie as well as Alice’s boyfriend, Jason. They had all been a part of each other’s lives since they were small kids. They were all in the foster care system, sometimes Alice, Cellie & Jason were even placed in the same homes.
When a book is character driven like this one was, I generally fall in love with the book. I love learning about the characters. Their backstories, their interests, their families (or lack thereof) So I was expecting this book to be an early favorite of 2016.
If I could just rate a book based on the interesting & dynamic characters and the fascinating plot, this book would have gotten 5 stars no problem. Because the characters were so interesting. Watching Alice realize just how much darkness Jason had was heartbreaking and painful. Despite Jason being dangerous, I hurt for Alice. She had always known Cellie had darkness in her, but it had taken Jason’s death for her to realize that he too, had darkness in him.
The plot was very slow for the majority of time I was reading it. The only thing that saved the slow parts were Alice’s journal entries. Without those, I might have decided to DNF the book. In a book this short, you really can’t have slow parts or else the ending will feel rushed and as much as I liked the ending, it DID feel rushed to me.
I also felt like a bit of a moron because SO many people guessed the twist in the end, but I didn’t. Even when I thought about the book, the twist didn’t come to me. I’m really glad I didn’t guess the twist beforehand because I think I would have been disappointed. As it was, I was stunned by the twist because I really didn’t see it coming.
I actually really liked Chase. I thought he was good for Alice and I couldn’t help but hope that they would be able to make things work in the end. It was the kind of book where the little bits of romance were just enough. Any more romance and I don’t think I would have enjoyed the characters as much as I did.
Overall, this book was okay, I definitely teeter in the direction of the book being good and I probably would have loved it if it was just a little bit longer or the pacing was better. Pacing can make or break a book and my enjoyment of that book, and in this case, Alice’s journal entries saved this book for me.