My Review: My first thriller book of the season! Hurray!!! I picked this one up not too long ago because it sounded pretty good. A revenge plot after a car accident takes 2 people from these 2 teens lives? Things possibly getting weird?? Sign me up!! (I say this a lot. I’m not sorry.)
The one thing I didn’t know going in was that it’s set in Detroit. So…..I may be a little more nitpicky & critical than I would’ve been if this book wasn’t set where I grew up. I do have to give props to Klehr for name dropping Dearborn & Ann Arbor though. Gods, I’m feeling homesick now…
ANYWAY … TO THE REVIEW!!
This book is told in first person, moving between the 2 MC’s Johnny & Becca with a few things from this site called Hush & pieces about criminal law thrown in-between. Each chapter is titled with the character who is speaking, so it’s not hard to keep track. Johnny’s bits are about the present happenings, while Becca’s start at the accident & then end at the present. I thought it was a nice way to present, not only backstory, but current events without making you feel like it’s dragging. The chapters were pretty short, especially towards the end, so it’s easy to read this in a day or 2.
Unfortunately, though it was entertaining & quick, I just didn’t quite like it all that much. It wasn’t terrible, but it certainly wasn’t great. It was riddled with typos & grammatical errors, & I could tell that Klehr might actually know the area, maybe she visited before, but a few things that were mentioned/said by these teens who supposedly grew up in Detroit are NOT things people from Detroit would actually call things. We don’t say interstate. Ever. It’s the freeway, if not the number of said interstate (yes, it’s technically I-96, but we just call it 96, ok?). We don’t refer to the streets by their numbers (yes it’s hwy 5, but we all call it Grand River). I was waiting for them to go get a drink somewhere so if Klehr wrote soda I could scream how we call it pop in Detroit. These are things that only a native would be bothered by though, so you’d probably be less irritated than me, tbh.
And whenever ANYBODY talks about Detroit like it’s the murder/crime capital of the country, you bet imma get angry. Crime has been on a great decline for the past few years & Detroit is no longer the most dangerous city. Not even in Michigan. Thank you, James Craig. I know this takes place right before he actually became Chief of Police & started making improvements to the city, but still. I want everyone to know this. So please, stop putting that in books & movies, ok? It’s not this terrifying distopia. It’s improving. Please remember that.
The story I felt started out intriguing & the characters were overall enjoyable, but not all too likeable, but once you get to the “twist” & how it ended….it just really fell flat. Nothing really happened. It felt like there was this big work up to something weird & scary, but it never got there. The twist was only slightly shocking for me, & I just felt like it should’ve been better. This whole plan just falls apart & it’s not even that upsetting at all.
I did enjoy how Becca’s character is developed throughout the story. You start off feeling for her, then as it goes on you feel less for her & start realising that she isn’t who you or anyone in her life thinks she is. Except maybe her parents. They see her all too well, just not well enough it seems. I liked Johnny, but I didn’t really love him. He swears a lot like all the time, which doesn’t bother me, but occasionally it felt strained & possibly more put in for shock factor than how anyone would actually talk. But it was ok.
I’d recommend this if you’re looking for a quick darker read, just don’t expect anything amazing. Overall I felt it was a good start to the season & definitely revved me up for more thrillers, but it wasn’t as good as I was hoping it’d be.