Sourcebooks | October 2016 | 320 pgs
Source: Library

A senior field trip is supposed to be fun, right? Well, maybe not in this story. 

Sera isn't keen to go for a field trip initially but rules are rules and they've to stick to it no matter they like it or not. What turns out to be a typical hiking trail becomes a nightmare when a flash flood cuts off the small group of eight into an even smaller group as the remaining three couldn't make it on time across the river as the heavy current hit on them. Divided by the river and with no signal on their cellphones, they decided that they could move on once the weather is cleared. But, they are wrong. Instead of moving on, they find themselves stuck in the remote, isolated woodland with a few incidents which struck them as scary. 

For starters, the four seniors who made it across the river woke up feeling groggy and suspected they are being drugged. Their teacher-in-charge, Mr Walker, hasn't come out of his drugged state and it terrifies them, not to mention if he would wake up at all. Then, they found their wrists are marked with a wording in dark ink. Lucas is marked as Dangerous, Jude as Deceptive, Emily as Damaged, and finally Sera as Darling. 

And when they make their way to find out the situation of the other three campers who are stuck opposite the river, they are horrified to see something disturbing hanging from a branch. It appeared to be a severed finger belonging to one of the campers but they could find no one there. What happened to them? Apparently they aren't alone as they thought and that whoever marked them must have known them well enough to brand them according to their issue. But Sera doesn't understand hers - Darling doesn't seem bad, does it? Or does she mean something special to whoever who had marked them? 

While the book blurb and the opening of the story straightaway captivates the reader's attention with an intense situation, it fell short on the developments - both plot-wise and characters-wise. I felt myself fidgeting like the characters; nervous yet unsure where the direction would go as the story progresses with nothing much happened except that the characters were going in circles with their fear and doubts towards one another. I suppose this was a buildup of the tension and suspense because the second half read fairly quickly and my assumptions started to accumulate. While the ending caught me by surprise, it didn't really satisfy my curiosity as I thought some parts seemed a bit unbelievable. Nevertheless it was an entertaining read albeit the few things I mentioned. 

Last but not least, I want to thank Lark for this buddy read. As with our previous buddy reads, we would ask each other questions pertaining to the book and the following questions are from Lark to me:

1. Which of the four main characters did you like most? And which did you like the least, and why?
Truth be told, I didn't really like any of the characters though I sympathised them given their issues. If I've to choose one to like, it would be Lucas. There was a side of him which surprised me. As for the one I liked the least, it would be Jude because of his cynicism.  

2. Would you read this author again? (Or if you have read her before, how did her other book compare to this one?)
Yes, I'll definitely read this author again. I've not read her books before so I'm glad to have discovered a new-to-me author via this buddy read.  

Now go visit Lark's blog to read her review and her answers to my questions. 

© 2018 Melody's Reading Corner (, All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
16 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Well it sounded like it had promise. Too bad it didn’t fulfill but maybe another story by the author will be better.

  2. Melody Says:

    Jenny - The premise does sound promising and if there's more developments to the story it'd have been better. That said, I'll be checking out her books and hope they'll be better.

  3. Kay Says:

    Well, I remember reading a synopsis of this book a while back and thinking I might try it. I read another book by this author - Six Months..something - and liked it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'll keep it in mind.

  4. Melody Says:

    Kay - I think the dragging part got to me. Then again, I suppose I was also reading another psychological suspense at the same time I was reading this so perhaps I was impatient when the slow pace is concerned. ;-p That said, I'll have to check out her other books.

  5. jenclair Says:

    Sounds intense, but evidently not as satisfying as you hoped!

  6. Lark Says:

    Hey, Melody! Great review. I agree with you on many of your points: I thought it was hard to connect with these characters as well, and the story dragged for me in places, too. (Mostly because of Sera!) But that crazy twist at the end sure made this one memorable! :D What should we read next?

  7. Iliana Says:

    Enjoy reading your buddy reads posts! This one sounds like a read I might enjoy but it's one of those I have to be in the mood for. And, prepare for a lot of teen angst! haha...

  8. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - It has a promising beginning; if only the story is more developed instead of focusing on their angst.

  9. Melody Says:

    Lark - Sera was an interesting character, but she did get on my nerves at times, lol. Will let you know of our next buddy read soon. :)

  10. Melody Says:

    Iliana - Yes, it's definitely one of those books which needs the right mood to read. I think I'd have given this book a bit higher rating if I'm not reading a more suspenseful thriller at the same time.

  11. Too bad it fell short, though the premise is intriguing. I'm curious about the ending though!

  12. I am sorry this one fell short. I am glad the second half seemed to go a bit more smoothly. I always enjoy your buddy reads with Lark. :-) It's fun to get two takes on the same book.

  13. I sure like the sound of the premise of this one! I'm glad that you shared about it as I hadn't heard of it until now. I might just have to add this one to the TBR list :)

  14. Melody Says:

    Diana - The ending was a surprise though it didn't sound realistic to me. That said, I'm curious of this author's works and will check them out. :)

  15. Melody Says:

    Wendy - Yes, it's always fun to buddy read and compare notes. :)

  16. Melody Says:

    Samantha - It'd be more interesting if the story was more action-packed but alas the first part focused much on the characters and their angst. That said, I'm curious to hear what you'll think of it if you do read it, Samantha. ;)

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to hear from you.