Published by FSG on March 27th 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Blog Tour
My content rating: YA (Themes of sexual and physical abuse - not directly shown; Characters have sex - again, not directly shown; Some violence)
Sixteen-year-old con artist Jo Chastain is about to take on the biggest heist of her life: impersonating a missing girl. Life on the streets of Boston these past few years hasn’t been easy, and Jo is hoping to cash in on a little safety, a little security. She finds her opportunity in the Lovecrafts, a wealthy family with ties to the unsolved disappearance of Vivienne Weir, who vanished when she was nine.
When Jo takes on Vivi's identity and stages the girl’s miraculous return, the Lovecrafts welcome her back with open arms. They give her everything she could want: love, money, and proximity to their intoxicating and unpredictable daughter, Temple. But nothing is as it seems in the Lovecraft household—and some secrets refuse to stay buried. As hidden crimes come to the surface, and lines of deception begin to blur, Jo must choose to either hold onto an illusion of safety, or escape the danger around her before it’s too late.
What a twisty ride this book was! Kim Savage knows how to take you on a journey with her books—and you’re not always sure you’re going to end up somewhere pretty. That was definitely the case with this one.
What Fed My Addiction:
- Life hijack. I don’t know what it is, but I’m always fascinated by stories where the main character takes over someone else’s life. In this case, Jo sees an opportunity to pretend to be Vivienne, a girl who was kidnapped from an affluent family years ago. Since Vivi’s parents died, Jo thinks she can convince their close friends to believe that she’s Vivienne and that she’s escaped from her kidnapper after years of being hidden away.
- Not so smart plan. Jo isn’t nearly as smart as she thinks she is, and things start to go wrong pretty early on. Sometimes it might bother me to have a main character who thinks she’s smarter than she really is, but I felt like it worked in this story. You sort of saw the whole world unraveling around Jo, and you couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for her, even though she brought it all on herself.
- Sad background. Jo isn’t exactly a likable character, but like I said, I still felt sorry for her. She’d been through a lot in her life, and I was genuinely hoping she’d find some sort of happy ending.
- Interesting POV. The book was told with an interesting mix of first and second person POV. Jo is essentially telling the story to Temple Lovecraft, her new “sister,” in her head. (She refers to Temple as “you” throughout the book.) Again, this is one of those things that might work well or might fall flat. I ended up liking it.
- Super quick read. This book is made up of three parts, and the game gets changed in each of them. That keeps you flipping the pages, and I flew through the book (which is a big plus for me lately, since I’ve felt a little stuck in my reading).
What Left Me Hungry for More:
- Predicted some of the twists. I figured out what was going on with the Lovecrafts pretty early on—or, at least, I had a pretty good idea. I was still a bit shocked to find out the details, but I wasn’t all that surprised at the actual reveal. After that point, I did find some of the Lovecrafts actions and plans surprising, though. And part of the ending was surprising, as well as sort of sad.
- Pacing in the middle. There was a point, after the big reveal and before Jo realizes that she’s in a desperate situation, that things lagged a little. But this was pretty minor. Like I said, I flew through the book.
Overall, I’d say this was a creepy and enjoyable read. If you like twisty stories that get a little dark, this one will be perfect for you! 4/5 Stars.
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via Rock Star Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About Kim Savage
I was born and raised in Massachusetts, on the South Shore, which sounds beachy, even luxe. Think Winnebagos and chicken coops. My three brothers, 16, 10, and 8 years older, were teens by the time I became a person. Happiest around adults, who often forgot I was there, I spent days eavesdropping on gossipy moms in lawn chairs and nights listening under the table during tipsy Scrabble parties.
My dad read to me nightly. Eventually and early, I read to myself, everywhere. On top of an enormous freezer chest stuffed with meat. On drives until I grew nauseous. In bed until my eyes gave out. I read anything I could get my hands on. V.C. Andrews and Dickens. Black Beauty and the Bible. The Economist. Madeline L’Engle and Margaret Atwood. National Geographic.
I got a bachelor’s degree in English from Stonehill College and a Master’s in Journalism from Northeastern University. For a while, I worked as a business journalist. Instead of waiting for the Federal Reserve to release the Beige Book, I pitched story ideas along the lines of “Stigmatized Properties: When Murder Kills Property Values”. You see where things were headed.
Today, I live with my family northwest of Boston in a town a lot like Shiverton, near the real Fells reservation of AFTER THE WOODS. Born with dysgeographica—I’m directionally challenged—the fear of getting lost in that lovely, dark forest lives close to my skin.
1 winner will receive a finished copy of IN HER SKIN and BEAUTIFUL BROKEN GIRLS, US Only.
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