Monday, 30 January 2017

This Is Our Story - Ashley Elston; Review

Book Details:
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (15th Nov 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1484730895
ISBN-13: 978-1484730898


Five went in. Four came out.

No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them. 

Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the district attorney’s office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.

Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As investigates with Stone, the aging prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot, she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own.

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I’ve had this on my to be read list for AGES. The anticipation was unreal. It sounded like it would be an amazing thriller read but the reality of it wasn’t as great as my expectation - instead it wasn’t bad or anything, just not as dark and gritty as it had the potential to be. Which of course made me sad, but it is what it is, eh? Let’s launch right in. 

The premise sounds fantastic does it not? Five went in, four came out. This book was essentially a ‘whodunnit’ mystery - and I will give the author props in that she did a great job of constructing a set of characters that you thought any single one of them could have done it. Whether intended or not, I loved the way what we saw on the outside about these 5 seemingly best friends, wasn’t everything it looked like within. Each of the friends, as the story unfolds - had motive. We get a glimpse, though brief as it was - into each of these shady friends - I honestly felt like it could have been any one of them. The way we flit from past and present to construct what happened from that fateful night to the moment in the present, the author did a great job in pulling it all together.

Another added bonus which I did like, was the intermittent chapters told from the killers point of view - little snippets into the mind of the killer interspersed with the other chapters, worked really well for the pace and variability of the book. 

There was a whole creepy atmosphere about this book overall, and I can’t quite put my finger on the how and why. Unfortunately, what I was hoping for but it didn’t deliver, was a more gritty and dark novel - this was more of a amateur thriller, with the motives and uncovered sins not being as dark as I thought they would be. Sure, everything made sense in the end, all the chips fall into place, but that was it - there was nothing more, no ‘WHAT THE MOTHER ^&*(% HOW CAN THAT BEEEEEEE’ screeching, which is, twisted as this is making me sound - what I wanted. I wanted to be shocked, recoil in horror and surprise, alas, twas not meant to be. 
Plus points are however going to be given for the portrayal of the characters, the rockiness of a friendship that seemed set in stone - the hobby of hunting and the deconstruction of each character from interviews and present moments by our main character. 

One thing the book could have done without really, is the romance. Personally, I felt nothing for Kate and the boy she ends up with *won’t say who since there are 4 boys to pick from* but there was no real chemistry or fizzle. The main focus of this book was the murder and the mystery - inserting a romantic plot into it did nothing to move the story along. Instead, what irked me somewhat was, and again, on a totally personal level - Kate knows one of these 4 boys killed Grant. It’s a sure thing right? Five went in, and four came out. When she starts developing feelings for one of these boys, I get you can’t help your feelings *slight eye roll* BUT how do the feelings develop in the first place when the guy in question is a suspect in a murder inquiry into one of his best friends? She didn’t even know who was innocent or guilty at this point, she went forth with only her feelings and minimal evidence. Call me skeptical and a cynical crow, but yeah, basically, the romance was meh. 

I did want a dark novel, something to really sink my teeth into, and though this wasn’t quite what it had the potential to be - it was a good read and deserving of a reach if you’re looking for something edgy and different then this is your book. While it wasn’t what I hoped it would be for me, it may just be right up your street. I’m just really dark and twisted inside okay. That’s all. *It’s me, not you*. The cover art? Gorgeous. Love it. This is our story. His story. Puns are intended and I honestly laaaaav that.

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