“Three average, everyday girls. A little lonely, a little ignored. The boy next door. An old book. They made a movie out of you. It was a witch hunt.”
Rating: 3/5 stars
Release Date: October 2, 2018
Thank you HarperCollins for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
It’s been five years since Summer Marks was brutally murdered in the woods.
Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend. That driven by their obsession with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn the three girls had imagined themselves into the magical world where their fantasies became twisted, even deadly.
The only thing is: they didn’t do it.
On the anniversary of Summer’s death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as the lines begin to blur between past and present and fiction and reality, the girls must confront what really happened in the woods all those years ago—no matter how monstrous.
tw: murder, self harm, animal abuse and murder (very graphic), homophobic slurs, pedophilia
Let’s just get this out of the way first, the cover of this book is actual HAIR GOALS, and I would be 100% lying if I told you that wasn’t what caught my attention first. The second reason I was drawn to this was because it reminded me of the Slender Man stabbing case where two best friends lured another friend into the woods and repeatedly stabbed her an attempt to impress the fictional Slender Man and left her to die. Luckily, the real-life story does have a happy ending and does not end with a dead girl like this book does. But a large part of me wonders if that particular case was the inspiration behind this novel.
The story starts off on the five year anniversay of Summer’s death. Mia and Brynn haven’t seen or spoken to one another since they were accused of the murder of their best friend. And even though they did not murder Summer, the girls still have secrets of their own and the town still holds them accountable, labeling them and one other boy as the Monsters of Brickhouse Lane. Mia finds The Way into Lovelorn, a book that Summer, Mia, and Brynn were obsessed with. Picture a The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, Narnia type of story. The girls spent their days together in a sort of frenzy to figure out the ending of the book since the story ended mid-sentence. That frenzy quickly turned into an obsession of writing a sequel with a proper ending and trying to bring Lovelorn to life, which ultimately ended in murder.
Here’s what I liked…
- The way the past, present, and snippets from The Way into Lovelorn and Return to Lovelorn, which is Summer, Mia, and Brynn’s story, were all woven together. Initially, I did struggle with it in the very beginning but it got better as the chapters got shorter
- Mia and Brynn were both dealing with their own demons since Summer’s death, and I thought it added a nice touch to making the characters more likable and interesting
- Awesome side characters. Wade and Abby brought a lot to this story and without them it would have been a lot more dull
- The epilogue had me grinning from ear to ear
- Super atmospheric which was perfect to kick off my September reads and will be the perfect addition to your bookshelves when it comes out October 2nd
Here’s what I didn’t care for…
- The killer. I guessed who murdered Summer VERY early on. So, I was bummed when the big reveal came and it turned out to be who I guessed, especially because it felt like at one point the author was going to go another way and pin the murder on a different character. But nope, Detective Alana was on the money.
- There is an extremely graphic scene that includes murdering a cat which was so unsettling for me. I have a stomach of steel and I could hardly get through it, so just be prepared because it is definitely on the more gruesome side
- The reason Summer was murdered was not only underwhelming but it also felt super underdeveloped. The book came in at over 400 pages and the barely 2 page explanation of why Summer was murdered just did not cut it for me
That’s the problem with lies. They aren’t solid. They melt, and seep, and leak into the truth. And sooner or later, everything’s a muddle.
#47. Truths you can never say, because they will strangle you on the way up.
Stories can be rewritten over and over, demons recast as heroes, and tragedies as grace.
That’s the promise of a place like Twin Lakes. No one’s ever really a stranger. Which means: there’s no place to hide.
All in all, while I did have issues with this book I’d be lying if I said I didn’t devour it in nearly one sitting. I don’t think this is one of those profound mystery/thrillers that will stay with me for ages but it was definitely entertaining while it lasted, minus the cat part. However, if you are looking to add an atmospheric, creepy read to your TBR this October than this may be the one for you!
Until next time,