Do not be fooled by the blurb of this one. It promises a story of betrayal, suicide, and hidden pasts full of secrets. What it actually turned out to be was something much different and I don’t mean that in a good way.
Short recap: June’s friend, Delia,that she distanced herself from has committed suicide by burning herself in a fire. June doesn’t believe it and vows to find out what really happened. What she uncovers shakes her to her core.
Well, after writing that recap maybe I should change professions because I made this story sound good. I struggled to finish this book and often thought about DNFing. Once it was over and the big plot twist was revealed, I wish I had DNFd. It was not that much of a twist, I saw it coming a mile away. The story started out with so much potential – a suicide that may possibly be a murder instead. Who did it?! What happened?! Lies! Mystery! Betrayal! Secrets! Sigh This story just did not deliver the suspense and mystery I expected.
Let me start with the characters. I could not stand June. She was in school when it was announced over the speakers that her former best friend Delia had passed away. It is a sad and tragic announcement, as it should be. But what really stood out to me is that June took it personally. She openly admits that she and Delia used to be inseparable until June decided to distance herself. June decided that Delia was not a good friend anymore and chose to not talk to her. But after the announcement, June felt it was her responsibility to find out what really happened? Riddle me this – WHY. This girl chose to not be friends with the one person who was nice to her and then, what, out of grief chose to get to the bottom of Delia’s suicide? Why was it any of her business? She chose to leave Delia’s life, that doesn’t entitle her to anything. It felt like a long (boring) story of June sticking her nose where it didn’t belong. Now Delia. What a cluster eff of a character. I felt bad for her home life after learning her side of everything. I stress it that way because we are talking about the churched up version of what happened from a very troubled teen that didn’t like being told what to do. Let that sink in and soak for a few moments. The friendship Delia and June did share was nothing but toxic. Delia was a very bad influence on June and she used that to her advantage to get what she wanted. June just wanted a friend to like her so she went along with whatever Delia told her. Everything between them got worse as the story continued and I ended up despising both characters.
The plot. This was supposed to be about misdirection and betrayal. I’m here to tell you that nothing was really as mysterious as Weingarten was trying to make it out to be. She tried to include a plot twist about 40 or 50% of the way into the book but it is painfully obvious what it was going to be. There was to shock factor or gasp moment. What did throw me for a loop and really made me dislike the story was how it started out as a typical high school drama story where a teen doesn’t like how her parents are trying to parent her (rules! OMG!) and it turned into a story about running away, lies, stealing, and murder. That’s right! MURDER. This went from high school stuff to MURDER. Slow down, Speed Racer. How did that escalate so quickly?!
The pacing of the story was bad. There were long stretches of moments where nothing happened and longer chapters where nothing made sense. There were weird flashbacks thrown into chapters randomly – either at the end or they were chapters all on their own. Regardless, they did not make sense, they did not help propel the story forward, they did not give great insight into the characters. They felt like weird fillers to make the story longer.
You can probably guess that I did not like this story. I’m all for a good messed up story of betrayal, secrets, and hidden truths, but that did not happen in this book. It was an unoriginal concept that I have read many times before in other books (Gone Girl, what?) I am still kicking myself for not DNFing because I will never get that time back. I do not recommend this to anyone. It was not clearly developed or executed. Do yourself a favor and pass on this one.