I received an ARC via NetGalley.
First off, there is one major reason why I decided to read this. Yes, it was published by Simon & Schuster & it has a gorgeous cover but those are not the reason why I picked up this book. It was that tagline, "Her perfect life is a perfect lie." That alone made an impact so big it made me want to read the book. So a big kudos to the one who made this blurb.
When it comes to thriller/mystery, Gillian Flynn definitely comes to my mind. Especially the mind twisting Gone Girl. Although this book definitely reminded me of Gone Girl mixed with American Horror Story (the first season), Jessica Knoll created a world that's totally hers.
This book revolves around our narrator, Ani, née TifAni, a girl who created a perfect life after she's thrown away her past and put on the perfect mask. She's put on this mask after what happened during her high school. It was nasty, her past. It shows the naiveté of young girls, or boys, to the potential pain their loose lips can cause.
At first, I thought Ani is not a very reliable narrator. She's very honest, yes, but her way of thinking is a bit twisted. But as the story progresses, I got a glimpse of what she used to be. She's set on being perfect, the have-it-all girl but deep inside, she's a scared little girl who doesn't know what will happen if her "perfect" world crumbles. It made me think that maybe, just maybe, she's a reliable narrator.
The characters of this book is complete from the lowest, social, totem pole to the highest. Everyone, I mean everyone, plays a huge role in the story. Although it was a bit big of an ensemble, I was never confused about who is who because Ani, almost specifically, points out the noticeable details of each. That's also one thing I've come to like, Ani's vivid explanation and comparison with Magazine articles she wrote. It was almost, vividly, nasty.
Although, as a whole, I enjoyed reading this book, the first half of it is a bit boring, that it took me almost three days to finish. I almost gave up reading the other half but then the flashbacks happened and I couldn't put it down. It made me want to scream "Let me know what happened in the past!" And although I was a bit disappointed about how the last chapters went, it was definitely a page turner.
I am not, however, fond of the voice of the book albeit it's honesty. This was also my problem with Gone Girl, heck, this was my problem with every thriller/mystery book I've read. It has an air of brutal honesty and cutthroat ambition that I'm not used to. Nevertheless, it added to the "thrill" in reading this book.