A group of eight friends travel to Aruba, determined to have a rambunctious time away from their daily routine of school and family. Days that were meant to be spent in carefree splendor begin to go horribly awry when Elise goes missing. No one notices it at first, after all Elise is the quintessential party girl – bold, rebellious and a risk taker. Everyone is distraught when they find her body, but as the days pass, hidden sentiments become clearer. Could one of them have been driven to commit such an atrocious crime?
Abigail Haas’ writing is so spectacular that I finished this book in one sitting. It was the perfect thriller – gripping, not too predictable and fast paced. Chapters shuffle between different timelines and yet they come together seamlessly. Almost as if you were reading different pages of Anna’s diary. I really liked the structure of the novel. It goes back and forth between three main periods – before the accident in Aruba; before Aruba and after the accident in Aruba. I think this structured chaos sort of added to the build up of the climax. The plot is not unique as it follows tropes that have been explored previously, such as that of friends vacationing only to face trouble later, girl liking the popular jock in school etc. But I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, nevertheless.
I liked Lamar’s character a lot more than Tate’s. To me, Anna and Tate’s relationship wasn’t very convincing, even though he was nice to her and everything. Anna and Elise’s friendship is infectious. They were each other’s saving grace. So much so that it bothered quite a few people. Also, Chelsea and Max didn’t really have much of a presence throughout the book. I still can’t figure out what their purpose was. But the ending made up more than enough for the little flaws. The ending is a smack in the face, a crash into reality and how astoundingly crooked it can be. I really really liked this novel and would recommend it to everyone in the mood for a suspenseful read. It is simply unputdownable. I will certainly be picking up the author’s other works.
Ratings – 4 stars on 5