I seem to be having no luck with all these highly-anticipated releases at the moment, another one that I’m sure will be loved by many but missed the mark for me.
One day changes Jody’s life forever.
She has shut herself down, haunted by her memories and unable to trust anyone. But then she meets Abe, the perfect stranger next door and suddenly life seems full of possibility and hope.
One day changes Mags’s life forever.
After years of estrangement from her family, Mags receives a shocking phone call. Her brother Abe is in hospital and no-one knows what happened to him. She meets his fiancé Jody, and gradually pieces together the ruins of the life she left behind. But the pieces don’t quite seem to fit…
You’re propelled into the action from the very first page, this is usually a plus for me when the action begins right away but here, I felt too much was going on and I had to re-read several paragraphs just to ensure I was following the events and didn’t miss anything that would be ‘vital to know’ later in the book. Despite the opening feeling very cluttered, it had my full attention (if only so I didn’t miss anything) and I was looking forward to seeing where the story would go.
I’m not going to talk too much about the plot for fear of spoiling certain bits that didn’t work for me, but may work for others. Regarding the characters, I did not like them, not one single character, and that’s okay because I believe not every character has to be likeable, as long as they are well-developed or serve a purpose in the story. That was the case here, the characters were either very well developed with complex backgrounds or served a purpose in the story. The trouble is, where certain parts of this story should have evoked feelings in me, especially due to the dark themes surrounding this book, they didn’t. Where I perhaps should have felt sympathy or pity for a character, I just felt frustrated, like the writing wasn’t deep enough for me to connect with, it lacked the ‘believability’ these themes [of abuse] need; I know what I should have felt but I just didn’t feel it. Both main characters in this book, Jody and Mags, had extremely traumatic upbringings but I couldn’t connect with either character, sadly it all felt a bit empty to me.
Around the half way mark, my interest was waning, and I thought the story rather dull then there was a revelation that pulled me back in. By stating this book is for fans of ‘I Let You Go’ [by Clare Mackintosh], I was expecting something monumental – I can see why the comparison was made but, the twist wasn’t mind-blowing, more like an ‘ah-ha now we’re getting somewhere’ moment. However, it was a well needed and a clever revelation. I feel the character’s backgrounds and current states of mind could have been explored more to create a psychological chill rather than relying on the shock factor of the twist.
This was a fast paced-read with short chapters that created the ‘just one more chapter’ feeling, however, the alternating viewpoints in this story felt disjointed and disrupted the overall flow of the book. For me personally, from these types of reads, I like to be drawn into the mind of the characters, with a wish to continue “studying” them once the read is over, or the twist/revelation has to come completely out of left field and be jaw-droppingly, mind-blowingly awesome.
Again, this book has all the ingredients to make a great psychological thriller but it missed the mark for me.
*Thank you to the author (Sarah J. Naughton) and the publisher (Trapeze) for granting me access to a digital copy of this book via Netgalley*
This book is available to pre-order from: Amazon UK (release date: 23/3/17)