G.P. Putnam's Sons | March 2019 | 368 pgs
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss 

"There is a stranger inside everyone, an animal that doesn't think but responds only to its instincts and impulses." ~ Chapter 6

Seventeen-year-old Kate Bennet has no recollection of what happened on that fateful night or why she is kept isolated in a cabin in a remote beach town in New Zealand. Jim, the man who's with her, has claimed she's done something terrible back home in Melbourne and the reason why they're running away is so that no one could trace them and connect her with what happened that night. He had even chopped off her hair bald and given her a new identity - Evie. 

Through fragments of Kate's shattered memories, all she remembers is she has a best friend named Willow and that she's in a relationship with Thom. What happened in between remains fuzzy and although Jim said he'll help her fill in the blanks as the days go, Kate couldn't help but to wonder if it's all lies since he's also been feeding her with pills, saying it's for her own good. Is Jim really claims who he is - a benefactor or is he a captor with a mysterious agenda? Or is it Kate that is the unstable one after what happened that night? 

This debut novel by J.P. Pomare is nothing I've read from the other psychological suspense genre. Slow burned and consisted of unreliable and a few unlikeable characters, I've to admit I was quite frustrated by the first half of the story as it seemed to be getting nowhere (and oh the teenage angst before something nasty happened). However, it is for good reason since it is focused much on the characters development and the interactions between Kate and Jim also leave the reader wandering about their credibility. The shifting between the "Before" and "After" is another common style in allowing the reader to see perspectives from a different time frame as the story progresses and perhaps leaving some clues for the reader to guess but in this one I wasn't expecting the big twist until it hit me towards the end. A riveting novel and will make you question about the fragility of one's mind and memory and how far one would go to protect the secrets. 

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16 Responses
  1. Lark Says:

    I'm glad the ending made up for the slow start in this one. :)

  2. jenclair Says:

    Sounds interesting! I'm hesitant about the slow start, but you seem to think it was necessary.

  3. I'm glad the twist was worth it!

  4. Melody Says:

    Lark - Yes, I'm glad I stick to it. ;)

  5. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - I'm not a huge fan of slow burn suspense, but I suppose some are necessary. ;)

  6. Melody Says:

    Diana - And I was so relieved, hehe.

  7. bermudaonion Says:

    I can tolerate a slow start if it ends with a bang. This sounds good!

  8. Melody Says:

    Bermudaonion - I'm glad this one doesn't disappoint despite the slow start.

  9. Ash Says:

    Okay this looks awesome. I love the cover and the story sounds interesting. Hopefully even with a slow start it was worth it, I have a hard time with slow starts.

    Ash @ JennRenee Read

  10. I am glad this one ended up getting better and proved worth it in the end, Melody! I would like to give this one a try.

  11. Verushka Says:

    This is a blurb that has left me unsure about whether I want to read this or not -- but I appreciate your review and the new details it's give me about this. Much to think about.

  12. Melody Says:

    Ash - That cover sure catches one's attention, isn't it? I'm glad the end make up the slow start.

  13. Melody Says:

    Wendy - As mentioned to Jenclair, I'm not a fan of slow burn novels but I'm glad the wait was worthy in this book. I hope you'll enjoy this if you get to it, Wendy.

  14. Melody Says:

    Verushka - I think this book will be a miss or hit to readers. Some may be put off with the slow start but I think it's for the buildup as well as the characters development. Hope you'll give this book a try at some point.

  15. The Bookworm Says:

    It sounds good and I like an unreliable narrator.

  16. Melody Says:

    Naida - I love reading about unreliable characters; I don't mind unlikeable characters too if their roles are crucial to the plot.

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