Cait doesn’t particularly want to attend her 10-year high school reunion, but she also needs to face the things that happened at the end of her senior year, and the people who made her life miserable. Only now that she’s there, not only is she dealing with those old insecurities, but someone seems to think it’s inappropriate that she would attend, and they’re willing to get violent in delivering that message.
This was a recent Audible daily deal, a $4 audiobook that sounded like Carrie meets Bellweather Rhapsody. In the end, it wasn’t quite the winner that such a mash-up would’ve been, but it was a fun afternoon listen and worth the $4 spent on it.
The good things: There are a lot of “people aren’t who they appear to be” thematic elements, while other people really are exactly who they appear to be, even ten years later and supposedly more mature. The narrator isn’t unreliable, though she’s extraordinarily naive to the point of almost breaking believability. There’s no last-second twist in an epilogue where you suddenly discover that the narrator is a raging serial killer in disguise or some such nonsense. A lot of the emotions seemed genuine, if somewhat exaggerated. Security/police respond promptly and correctly to the threats, but are also quick to point out that without more/better evidence, there’s not much they can do. In the end, you get resolution on most things.
The not-so-good things: I got annoyed at how long it took to get to the past’s mystery – it’s okay to hook along a reader for awhile, but it was probably over halfway through before we even found out what kind of scandal Cait was dealing with. Cait only meets a few of her former classmates, and other than the one who was one of her best friends, she spends only a few seconds interacting with them. (For a book about a high school reunion, the reunion was superfluous.) There are, of course, the naivety issues, which I’ll discuss in more detail in the spoilery section below. There was also one sort of weird foray into almost-erotica (which gets interrupted) that felt entirely out of place, like the book was going to be a different genre at one time.
The spoilers (highlight to read): Cait’s ability to see a person’s true character is almost unbelievably lacking. She acts in some ways as if she’s never been introduced to the internet before – posting her location, then getting surprised/scared when people find her. Seeing a familiar person but never trying to figure out why she knows them. Then there’s Sam, her former boyfriend/best friend. Somehow, he’s managed to keep his marriage from her. They’re not in contact much, but their parents are, and there’s no way that would be a secret. Even if it was, you’d think that Sam would recognize his wife’s name when Cait begins to talk about her stalker. Yeah, Anna is a common name, but still. And then it turns out Sam is a scumbag and his wife is a crazy murderer obsessed with him, and that must make him the most naive person on earth too, not to mention the crazy girl obsessed with him definitely would have told Cait that Sam was cheating on her back in high school. I mean, the whole conclusion was sloppy and hard to believe. End spoilers.
So overall, the book was okay, but I doubt it’ll stick with me. On the other hand, it provided a lot of fun entertainment when I needed something light and thrilling to read, and the narrator (Meg Price) did a fairly good job narrating it too. No regrets.