Penguin | July 2018 | 512 pgs
Source: Library

I love stories with a school/college setting and all the more with alternating timelines and a various set of narratives. This story is basically about a 17-year-old Charlotte "Charlie" Calloway's search for the truth surrounding her mother's disappearance ten years ago as well as her school life at the prestigious Knollwood Augustus Prep. 

When Charlie was seven, her mother, Grace, left home and never returned. Although Charlie's father, Alistair Calloway, was initially suspected for Grace's disappearance, there was no evidence to point that he is guilty. The Calloways have slowly put this unsolved mystery behind them and move forward until Charlie receives a note from her Uncle Hank, who is Grace's elder brother. Charlie rarely contact her mother's family so she is intrigued about his request to meet her. Her meeting with Uncle Hank has once again filled her with questions surrounding Grace's disappearance, for he believes there is something more than meets the eye after he has found a stack of photographs of Grace as well as Charlie and her younger sister, Seraphina, when they were small. The only thing that stood out is a note written in capital letters, I KNOW.  

But this is not the only thing that troubles Charlie. At Knollwood Prep there is a secret society of sorts called the A's has tagged her to become an initiate into the group. Although no one really know who the members are, they are all aware that the members have some sort of authoritative power and those who are tagged to become one of them has to perform a task within their allocated time or else they will be outed by the group. Most often, the tasks they are assigned to have consequences and are of risk of expulsion if they are caught. As much as Charlie is intrigued by the group, she doesn't approve of the tasks they are asked to do. Then, there are also rumours about a student who had committed suicide years ago and Charlie soon learns that he used to be friends with her parents back then. 

(Look at the book! At first glance it already makes you wonder about the story, isn't it?)

All These Beautiful Strangers is Elizabeth Klehfoth's first novel and I've to say it was well written and I was hooked by this multi-layered mystery from the beginning till the end. The combination of the two timelines and multiple narratives work wonderfully in this story and I was equally invested in these two setups. The characterisations are well developed though they are all flawed. Overall I enjoyed this YA thriller and I'll certainly look out for this author's next book. 

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14 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Sounds like another good one. You’re always tempting me!

  2. Melody Says:

    Jenny - Booklovers love to tempt one another and this is one reason why we're always overwhelmed with books, which is a good thing. :)

  3. Verushka Says:

    I like the dual timelines and the mystery surrounding her mum -- I just realised I haven't read a private school setting like this before either.

  4. Melody Says:

    Verushka - I'm a sucker for books with a school setting; all the more if it involves magic or a mystery. :)

  5. jenclair Says:

    Another one to add to the list. I like that it is a first novel, too. :)

  6. Lark Says:

    Prep school setting and a secret society? I'm in! :D

  7. Kay Says:

    As Lark says, prep school and secret society....yep, I'm in too.

  8. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Me too, Jenclair. :)

  9. Melody Says:

    Lark - Hope you'll enjoy it! :)

  10. Melody Says:

    Kay - Hope you'll like it as much as I did. :)

  11. This sounds really good, Melody! I will have to give it a try myself!

  12. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did when you get to it, Wendy!

  13. Iliana Says:

    Love what they did on the edge of the book, it totally catches your eye. Glad to hear this was a good one!

  14. Melody Says:

    Iliana - Yes, that's an eye-catching one, isn't it? And it's a bonus that the book was a good one, too.

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