Published by Atria Books on April 17, 2018
Source: the publisher
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When debut novelist Eliza Fontaine is found at the bottom of a hotel pool, her family at first assumes that it’s just another failed suicide attempt. But Eliza swears she was pushed, and her rescuer is the only witness.
Desperate to find out who attacked her, Eliza takes it upon herself to investigate. But as the publication date for her novel draws closer, Eliza finds more questions than answers. Like why are her editor, agent, and family mixing up events from her novel with events from her life? Her novel is completely fictional, isn’t it?
The deeper Eliza goes into her investigation while struggling with memory loss, the closer her life starts to resemble her novel until the line between reality and fiction starts to blur and she can no longer tell where her protagonist’s life ends and hers begins.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I loved the Pretty Little Liars series (the books, I haven’t seen the TV show) so I was pretty excited to read this book, which is a more mature psychological-thriller type story, written for an adult or even more mature-YA audience. There is definitely a psychological component going on, which I love, and there is mystery because it took a while for me to confirm (or not!) my theories about everything that was going on. I was right about a thing or two that seemed pretty obvious to me, but there are certainly some twists thrown in, which made the story fun and kept me on my toes. This is an easy, quick read and even though I didn’t really love Eliza as a character for the most part, I did enjoy trying to figure out what in the heck was going on.
Eliza is an unreliable narrator in that she really can’t be sure what happened to her. She feels like she knows, but when she tries to remember, it isn’t really clear if the things that she remembers are true or something that she made up. Now, add to that the characters’ stories from The Dots – and how they seem to be remarkably similar to Eliza’s own life – and things get a little tricky. Even when I don’t particularly love characters, I always feel bad for them when they can’t seem to get a grasp on reality, and I felt like I was watching Eliza become unhinged in her desperation for the truth. She had some behaviors along the way that I really made some faces at, but ultimately I really did enjoy this story.
I think fans of Sara Shepard’s work will enjoy this one too. I’m not sure if her solid fan base will like this one more or less than her famed Pretty Little Liars series. Personally, I just liked it differently. This was a much easier read than some of the more dark, thriller-y reads that I often pick up, and I really needed a book like that right now (after a fairly intense, darker read). So I think I would go as far as to recommend this one people that are typically YA or contemporary readers that want to try out some psychological suspense-thriller stories.
I would love to hear this one on audiobook! I’m curious how Eliza sounds and how her uncertainly translates to audio narration.