Premise: A couple of years ago, a girl committed a crime. But she’s reformed, now she and her mom are living well adjusted lives with their new family. Everything is perfect. So how does her Mom end up murdered? DUN DUN DUN. MacMillan knows how to hook this reader.
**LOTS OF SPOILERS AHEAD.**
Zoe, the aforementioned reformed criminal, is 17, with a genius IQ and a wild talent for piano. Also, her step dad didn’t know about the crime. Until one fateful night at a piano recital.
We slowly learn what happened all those years ago. Zoe went to a party with a friend, a hot older boy gave her a drink. It tasted funny. But when her friend feels sick, she decides to drive her home. The hot guy and another girl come along. There’s a crash. MacMillan does a great job of drawing this out, giving us information one piece at a time to keep us hooked.
As we learn about that incident, and her time in the juvenile detention center, we also learn that her step dad is not such a great guy. At one point he absolutely loses it. Then Zoe’s step brother sends her an email with details about his mom’s death, and we find out what else he’s keeping under the surface.
So when her Mom is killed, Zoe suspects her step dad, the police suspect her, and we’re not sure what the truth is. Until we have THE BIG REVEAL.
The plot was really interesting but the execution was poor. My biggest issue what the obvious roofie-ing that occurs and is never actually addressed. Not in a like, too taboo to talk about way, but in like, MacMillan was writing it and then it seemed like she didn’t know how to handle it so she didn’t. Or even, the author doesn’t think it’s important even though it was the crux of the whole plot. Which didn’t sit well with me. It’s such a serious and harmful event, I would have liked it to have been handled differently.
Beyond that, I had two other major issues with MacMillan’s plot. The first issue I didn’t even include in my summary because it has no relevance whatsoever on the plot. The relationship between Zoe’s aunt and her lawyer which was literally so pointless I don’t know why it was included. And then it ended very sadly and I was like you did all that to that dude for nothing?
The second issue was the character reveals as we went along. More than a few times we’re told things like ‘my mother never cracks in front of my step dad,’ or ‘my step dad has never used that tone with me’ or ‘my step brother never shares with me.’ You get the idea. Because we had no prior frame of reference, all of these ‘revelations’ lacked much of an impact.
Although I will say the timeline was interesting. It all occurs in about 48 hours but A LOT happens and we learn about the last crime as this one unfolds. So that was cool.
And I think I like the step brother communicating via script? I had some issues with it, like he says this is what happened and then shares his mom’s inner thoughts which he couldn’t have known. But it is intriguing that he felt like he could only express the terrible things that happened via script.
I would put this book under ‘pick up at the book stand in the airport and read on the plane’ level of recommendation. Like, it’s good and interesting, but not an absolute must read.
And now, the moment I know you’ve been waiting for. A list of songs I can’t stop listening to! No, I will not be taking any questions at this time.
- If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know), The 1975
- She, Harry Styles
- Wildflower, 5SOS
- Let It Roll, Midland
- Hold The Line, TOTO
- True Faith, New Order
- Suck My Kiss, RHCP
- THE SCOTTS, Travis and Cudi