Release Date: 31st May 2018
Add it: Goodreads
Miri Tan loved the book Undertow like it was a living being. So when she and her friends went to a book signing to meet the author, Fatima Ro, they concocted a plan to get close to her, even if her friends won’t admit it now. As for Jonah, well—Miri knows none of that was Fatima’s fault.
Soleil Johnston wanted to be a writer herself one day. When she and her friends started hanging out with her favorite author, Fatima Ro, she couldn’t believe their luck—especially when Jonah Nicholls started hanging out with them, too. Now, looking back, Soleil can’t believe she let Fatima manipulate her and Jonah like that. She can’t believe that she got used for a book.
Penny Panzarella was more than the materialistic party girl everyone at the Graham School thought she was. She desperately wanted Fatima Ro to see that, and she saw her chance when Fatima asked the girls to be transparent with her. If only she’d known what would happen when Fatima learned Jonah’s secret. If only she’d known that the line between fiction and truth was more complicated than any of them imagined. . . .
Well, this was a massive letdown. Don’t you hate it when one of the most anticipated releases of the year turns out to be a poorly written snorefest? Especially when it’s marketed as a thrilling page-turner?
Firstly, I loved the idea of it being told in mixed media format. I think Illuminae kicked off an interesting trend here, and I always look forward to books that are told in a different format. That said, it really didn’t work with this story. I’m not really sure what the point was. It didn’t add to the story at all, and it feels like the author just wanted to try this format out, and perhaps it was easier to write than a normal novel.
The characters were dull as hell as well. This might be down to the format it was told in, but bloody hell, they had nothing going for them. I couldn’t get a grasp on their personalities or backgrounds outside of the basics.
Then there was the ~mystery~, which didn’t really feel like a mystery at all. Fatima was a dull antagonist, and it was pretty obvious what she was up to and what was about to be revealed. I mean, the synopsis does explain that she’s exploiting these teenagers, but it doesn’t tell you how. But it was so damn clear, which left no suspense.
I really don’t know why this was marketed as a thriller when it’s more of a contemporary with a couple of darker elements thrown in. Perhaps because the thriller genre is kicking off right now. Overall it turned out to be really disappointing and I’m sad that I spent money on it.