Firstly, thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia for this review copy <3
Date Read: February 7 - 8 2015
Date Published: August 1st 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Review copy via publisher
"Elise is dead.And someone must pay.
Anna, her boyfriend Tate, best friend Elise and a group of close friends set off on a debaucherous Spring Break trip to Aruba. But paradise soon turns into a living nightmare when Elise is brutally murdered.
Soon Anna finds herself trapped in a foreign country and fighting for her freedom. As she awaits the judge's decree, it becomes clear that everyone is questioning her innocence. To the rest of the world, Anna isn't just guilty, but dangerous. As the court case unfolds the truth is about to come out, and it's more shocking than you could ever imagine..."
Sadly, I was the black sheep with regards to this book. It’s meant to have a mind blowing plot twist but I just didn’t feel it.
A spring break vacation gone wrong, Anna and her friends had planned on an amazing trip to the Caribbean island of Aruba when her best friend is murdered the first week they’re there. Anna and her boyfriend Tate are the prime suspects.
The story is told in a very unique fashion – there’s Anna’s current point of views in the aftermath of Elise’s murder as she’s held in custody but also flashbacks to Anna’s developing friendship with Elise and the others in the group. There’s also TV scripts and mobile phone transcripts to display how the case is going and to reveal evidence. As much as I liked the original way the plot was relayed, I grew restless after a while. I thought a lot of the stuff seemed to drag on – the court case, some of the flashbacks and I thought things could have moved a lot faster.
The evidence presented against Anna as the main suspect just wasn’t believable for me. The prosecutor Dekker is obviously grasping at straws and the way he presents the evidence against the accused just had me scoffing. The way the crime scene was presented for one, then using Anna’s social media against her, it was all so melodramatic and for a minor too? I just couldn’t believe it. Compared to all the crime shows I’ve watched I just didn’t feel that this was realistic or believable – it felt like an episode of Pretty Little Liars with less twists.
I didn’t like ANY of the characters in this book. Anna’s friends were all shallow and it seemed everybody was against her or everybody was a suspect and nobody was genuine. I got so exhausted reading about these shallow teenagers with their money thinking they could play God with someone’s life in the court room.
In terms of the plot twist at the end I just wasn’t shocked. By that point I’d run through so many scenarios in my head that the plot twist had been considered at some point and another one of the major plot points I’d already guessed from the very beginning.
I expected a lot more with the plot twist as well. After the revelation I thought some questions would be answered – did the stab wounds show signs of a struggle? Did Elise die from blood loss or did she die directly from a stab wound to the heart or stomach or neck? These would have indicated if Elise had been surprised by her attacker and hence signified if she may have known them or not. Stabs to fatal areas first may have indicated that her killer was merciful rather than stabbing her elsewhere to inflict as much pain as possible. What could they glean from the contaminated crime scene? I’m sure they could have gotten SOME facts. I just wanted more of these things.
I’ve yet to read a YA mystery that manages to leave me awestruck and mind blown (Ellie Marney’s Every Breath was close but the culprit was too easily identifiable for me so that’s where it fell flat). I’m waiting for a YA that mind fucks me the way Dan Brown does.