Date of Publishing: August 3rd, 2021
Author: Ashley Winstead
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Mystery Thriller
This story follows a college reunion where our main character Jessica Miller is all set to blow the crowd apart and show everyone that she had become someone of importance since graduating college. However, when old secrets dig themselves out of the past, Jessica and her six friends have to figure out who is behind the death of their former friend Heather. And when secrets come to light, Jessica’s own truth threatens to burst forth and tell the whole world that she’s not as perfect as she claimed to be.
Let’s just get the obvious out of the way and say that I absolutely loved this story. This story was a roller coaster ride which started and ended with perfection. I have no idea how the author managed to pull this off but she did and for that I applaud Ashley Winstead, and I really need to learn a thing or two or ten from her about writing.
From the start to the end I was hooked. There was not a single instant or moment where I felt the story dragging or found myself losing interest, I was glued till the end. I loved how the author brought everybody’s secret to light one by one and how they were all connected to Heather’s murder in one way or another, which just goes to show how actions cause a ripple effect which leads to the end result and often times as humans we do not understand the importance and implications of our actions and how they can impact another human being.
Every aspect of the story was executed well. I loved the flawed and selfish characters, including our main character. I was super glad to read she was as messed up as the rest of them. I was glad the author didn’t make her perfect just because she’s the main character.
Moreover, I loved how beautifully everything was orchestrated. The author did a fantastic job with the pacing and the setting. It really made me miss my college days and just how fun and carefree everything was. I loved the timelines shifts which took place between the day of the reunion and when they were in college.
The events were messy. They drove me mad. But they were perfect in their imperfections. I enjoyed how the author gave us a glimpse of the dark side of college life. Yes, everyone is young and carefree and we’re all trying to fit in and find our group of friends, but the extent people go to in order to fit in and find that perfect group of friends can be really jarring and I just loved that this book gave us that.
Furthermore, the climax really put the cherry on top. The plot twist and how as a reader I was forced to look at things from a different perspective really makes me want to applaud the author. She did a fantastic job building up the suspense and did not disappoint with the execution of the climax. It was jolting, it was shocking, it was absolutely amazing!
The ending also did not disappoint. I thought the climax was the final unwrapping of this gift of a story but that last secret that Jessica finally reveals really made me question my sanity, and for some strange reason it made me love Jessica all the more. I wish I could say that she’s just a character in a book—because that’s exactly what she is—but all that she does in the story it actually made her appear so much more real.
And let’s not forget our actual villain. I would say I kind of suspected who it was but it still shocked me when the identity of the villain came to light. Also, the reasons as to why the villain became the villain were sick and demented and so so relatable. Like, I could understand why he did what he did even if it made me sick to think about it. But yes, humans do insane things for insane reasons and you can’t even fault them for it because you understand it so well.
I think with all my rambling above you guys can understand just how much I love this book and I wish I can find more books which are as amazing as this one. This is the first book I’ve read by Ashley Winstead but I shall be looking for more of her books and giving them a read.
So if you guys haven’t read this book, then don’t let another minute pass by and purchase this book and read it immediately because you’re going to regret it if you don’t. I highly recommend everyone to read this book because this book deserves all the love it gets and more.