Bryn did everything with her best friend Erica. So when someone dared Erica to jump off the pier one night at Harding Beach, Bryn was right by her side. But when Bryn made it back to the surface, Erica was nowhere to be found. Bryn tries to make a fresh start by burying her memories of that awful night. But when a Twitter post from "EricaNShaw" pops up on her feed and a chilling voice mail appears on her phone, she realizes that someone isn't ready to let go of the past...
Note: Provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
This book had been on my radar for a while. It sounded really interesting, and so when it popped up on Netgalley I was really interested in it, and thrilled to receive a review copy.
I went into the book with high hopes. Hopes that unfortunately weren't quite met. It became obvious pretty quickly that I wasn't going to fall in love with this book.
The mysterious messages and things, didn't really happen often enough to create a truly interesting story, and when they did happen, they didn't really seem to last long. What I mean by this is that because Brynna wasn't sharing these messages with anyone, there was only so far that story could be developed. I feel it would have worked a lot better in first person, and we would have understood Brynna's character better that was as well.
The story itself, as I was reading it, seemed incredibly similar to 'Pretty Little Liars'. The mysterious messages, the dead friend who Brynna thinks isn't really dead and is actually playing with her. It was incredibly similar in a lot of ways, and for me that kind of took away a lot of the enjoyment.
The book wasn't awful and in parts I did enjoy what I was reading, it's just that overall it was a bit disappointing and really wasn't for me. I think this book will appeal to a lot of people, probably a lot more if you're not familiar with 'Pretty Little Liars' because it is really similar in a lot of ways.
Warning: Spoilers from this point onwards
There was one thing I really didn't like though, and that was the ending. First off it was incredibly quick. In the space of a few chapters, we find out that Erica was murdered, who the murderer was, that he's been working at the school as a teacher, and then he takes Brynna and tries to kill her as well. It felt rushed and underdeveloped, almost like an afterthought that the story had to be wrapped up, so they picked a random character and decided to make them a murderer.
I did like the foreshadowing. At the start of the novel Brynna has the nightmare about Erica being held down under the water by a man, and though for the rest of the novel we're led to believe that it wasn't a murder, but an accident brought about by the dare, I did think that it was a good use of foreshadowing, when in the end it turns out that Erica was murdered by being held down under the water by a man. This would however, had made more sense if Brynna has seen what happened and suppressed it.
Moving on to who the murderer was. I kind of didn't buy it. I mean, we barely heard anything about this teacher, and suddenly he's being revealed at Erica's stepbrother who was obsessed with her and killed her. I think it would have worked better if that story had been developed a little further, and it wasn't just in the last few pages that he became suspicious. Really he only became suspicious when it was revealed who he was. Up until that point, nobody even considered that it could have been murder.
One final thing, is that I didn't really buy the rescue at the end. It seemed a little too convenient that her friends were contacted, told she was missing, got together and figured out where she would be (an incredibly convenient guess), drive the forty five minutes to the beach, and arrive just in time to save Brynna from drowning. A bit too unbelievable for my liking.