Lauren Oliver always manages to grip me with whatever she’s writing, but I found myself increasingly frustrated by this.
Brynn, Mia and Owen have spent the last five years of their lives being regarded with suspicion by everyone in their small town. They are regarded as suspects in the death of their best friend, Summer, who was found, stabbed, in a field in circumstances very similar to a story they wrote together. The facts have been told so many times that everyone thinks they know what happened. But we’re told to assume these facts are not the truth.
In varying states of upheaval, the three teens find themselves back in their small town as people prepare to commemorate Summer’s death. They are determined to uncover the truth – for themselves, as much as for their friend.
Initially, this made for a tense read as each has reason to doubt the other and we can see they’re all keeping secrets. Unfortunately I felt we suffered from just too many ‘red herrings’ and attempts to misdirect us. I can’t believe such crimes would go unnoticed or unpunished…and yet Oliver glosses over all the issues we might have with how such an event is handled. There’s some details that other reviewers have alluded to that are put in place to shock but a lack of preparation/background made me feel they offer little extra to aiding us in understanding the characters.
I really wanted this to keep the hold on me that it had at the beginning. Sadly, it didn’t and I found this very frustrating.