Release Date: 12th July 2018
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Charlie Calloway has a life most people would kill for - a tight-knit family, a loyal set of friends, and top grades a privileged boarding school. But Charlie's never been interested in what most people want. Like all Calloways, she's been taught that she's different, special - better. So when her school's super-exclusive secret society extends a mysterious invitation, Charlie's determination to get in is matched only by her conviction that she belongs there.
But their secrets go deeper than she knows.
Charlie finds herself thrust into the centre of a decades-old mystery - one that implicates her family in not one terrible crime, but two. Uncovering their past may destroy everything she knows - or give her the answer she's always craved: Who or what was behind her mother's disappearance ten years ago?
All These Beautiful Strangers was a lot more thrilling than I was expecting! For a YA thriller, it reads fairly mature, and I would say that there’s a good amount of crossover for the target audience. The story alternates between the present day (told from the teenage Charlie’s point of view) and the past (told from her parents’ points of view). This was a really good move from the author, because it gave us a lot of backstory which added to the mystery, rather than having Charlie discover everything and tell us about it herself.
I did find the stuff that was happening in the past to be more interesting than the present day storyline. I think this is because it was leading up to the disappearance of Charlie’s mother, and there was a lot to discover there. The bits set in the present day with the romances and the secret society weren’t nearly as interesting. To begin with, it felt quite disjointed, but as the story progressed the two plots became more interwoven and it all started to make sense.
I did think that the main character was arrogant, and I didn’t particularly care for any of her relationships either. However, there was some character progression, especially with how everything was revealed towards the end, so I can somewhat forgive her arrogance in the beginning.
As for the twist, well, I barely saw it coming. Everything did start to make sense and it all sort of clicked, but even then I was still questionning whether I was right or not. It was a really well done mystery, in my opinion. Klehfoth definitely knows how to deliver a thriller!