I stayed up until 1 a.m. to finish this book – I just couldn’t stop until I knew the conclusion. This book sucks you into the central mystery and doesn’t let go.
I would describe it as part “Pretty Little Liars” and part “Gone Girl” – we never quite get a handle on the central figure in the mystery, a young woman playing a dangerous game, which ultimately turns deadly.
Hattie Hoffman – an aspiring actress just waiting to graduate high school to flee her rural Minnesota hometown for the big city – is found dead two months before graduation. Her father’s best friend and the county sheriff begins investigating her death, but quickly finds out that Hattie’s life is full of secrets and that her true self is buried under skillful acting. These secrets are revealed through flashbacks which chronicle Hattie’s senior year and the explosive events which ultimately climax in her tragic end.
One of the central themes of the book is what is right and what is wrong – and whether doing something “wrong” makes you a bad person. The central characters are all very flawed, but they’re not really bad people. They just get drawn into a situation which begins to stumble out of control.
It’s a slightly…uncomfortable situation, but like I said, it’s also very complicated. And it keeps you turning pages because you see the disaster coming and know it can’t be prevented. So you keep reading. And reading.
Like I said….1 a.m.
The only critique I have is that the ultimate conclusion is not necessarily a huge surprise – there’s only a handful of possibilities – but it was satisfying. But very, very haunting. Like I said, the novel really blurs the line between good and bad; victim and villain.
You really need to read this book to see for yourself. It will stay with you long after you finish.