Published: June 15 2016
Number of pages: 304
Genre: contemporary, mystery, crime, romance, psychological thriller, murder, mental illness
Rating: 2/5 owl hoots
Ava Hale will do anything to find out her sister’s killer…but she wishes she hasn’t because the harder she looks, the more secrets she uncovers about her family and Kesley. Ava suspects that the girl she thought she knew might actually be a liar, a sneak, and a stranger. And Kesley’s murderer might be closer than she thought.
I was provided with an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Any editing and copying of my words is strictly prohibited.
This is the most fucked up story I’ve ever read. Pardon my language as I normally don’t curse in my reviews, but I thought this would be an exception, as I have no other way of describing this story other than it’s really fucked up. I don’t want it to seem that I hated the whole story; it was only the ending that was twisted, and immediately changed my thoughts about the characters earlier, especially the dead sister and the foster mother. By the time I found out what they had done to Ava, I was automatically turned off by the whole story. But I’m going ahead of myself here, so I’ll back up a bit.
The story began with a strong start as we’re introduced to Ava Hale. Her older sister, Kesley was found murdered months ago and she and her foster mother are recovering from their lose. Ava is a shy, normal teenage girl trying to get through her grief, she also has a boyfriend, a best friend name Lia, and is getting through high school without having any conflicts from her bully, Amanda. As the story is set in a suburban neighborhood, we learn about this all girl gang called KARMA, made up of yes you guessed it, bad girls who are basically up to no good. Their leader, Amanda ruffles things up a bit for Ava by insulting her sister, Kesley and that’s when they clash. Despite her bully, Ava’s life seems almost normal as she continues to walk pass her grief, and with her boyfriend and friend, it appears that Ava will be able to make it through. Until a boy from her sister’s past suddenly shows up, triggering Ava’s obsession of finding out who murdered her sister.
Out of all the characters, Rafe is the only decent one I liked the most. He’s not the most trust worthy guy but he’s more supportive and loyal to Ava, even more so compared to her foster mother. Rafe is like a guide to Ava as he helps her figure out who her sister’s killer is. He’s there when Ava breaks down and needs a shoulder to cry on after being betrayed by the most important people in her life. After what had happened between Ava and her boyfriend, I was absolutely furious because what that jerk did to her and behind her back. Seriously, the story was so hard for me to read after this because I was so upset with the people in Ava’s life and how they treated her, that I wanted to throw the book against the wall. But it was the whodunit mystery which motivated me to keep on going so I did because like Ava, I had to know who killed Kesley.
But by the time we find out whodunit, I was…Fustrated? Angry? Upset? It’s so hard for me to even summarize my feelings after that ending because it was like the story was building up with all this momentum until suddenly, it concludes in the most cruel and twisted way possible. And it wasn’t just the ending it was also the characters too! From Ava’s foster mother to her older sister, to the KARMA girls and Ava, everything was turned upside down and inside out that I couldn’t believe what had happened to everyone. I wouldn’t say I was disappointed as the story certainly lived up to being a psychological thriller, I just couldn’t believe how things ended up for everyone.
After finishing the book, I made up my mind about the following characters: Ava’s boyfriend is a jackass, her friend is a backstabber, her older sister was cruel that when I found out about what she did I wanted to punch her, the mother was just stupid to let everyone get away like that, and Ava…well, I really felt sorry for her after everything that’s she has been through and it wouldn’t have happened if her foster mother stepped up and did something. I couldn’t help but feel angry with everyone except for Rafe who really stuck it out for her and even continued to support her until the end. I’m really glad Ava has someone good in her life who chose to comfort and care for her after what happened, and reminding her she’s not alone because that’s someone that Ava needs right now.
Even after writing this I still cannot decide how I truly feel about this story. On the one hand, if you love reading psychological thrillers and murder mysteries that keep you guessing, then by all means pick up this book. But be prepared to be screwed in the end.