*This review contains spoilers! So readers beware, you’ve been warned.
Reading this book was quite the ride.
It started off decent enough, slowly and steadily and I was happy with the pace. This helped with getting to know the characters (and there are quite a few of those) and their dynamics with each other. The story is told in the back-and-forth-in-time style which I didn’t particularly like in this instance. Other than letting us know that Oliver is in prison and narrating the tale to a cop, that future perspective tells me nothing.
While there was plenty of rich character development for a few chosen characters (Richard, Meredith, Oliver and James) the rest of them may have as well not been there. Alexander, Filipa and Wren are great but not pivotal and I wonder if the story may have progressed just the same without these three. I dislike when this happens, when you have a great set of supporting characters that I feel should be important and pivotal to the story and yet they’re just there. To fill in the gaps between the really important stuff.
I hit a patch, somewhere around 60-70% in the book when I just wasn’t into reading it anymore. During this patch, I thought we were at a standstill with nothing happening and no secrets being revealed and that was really annoying. The only reason I kept reading is because I wanted to know what happens at the end.
I may have skipped whole sections of the play being performed.
But boy, am I glad I continued reading.
The ending of this book was phenomenal. Absolutely fantastic. I don’t mean just the very end of the book but the reveal and the reasons behind it.
I know everyone (including me) thought of Oliver as the good guy, the nice guy, the normal guy. And so I guessed that all the crazy events may have broken him down and screwed him up just like the rest of them. Made him into a killer, even. He was certainly exhibiting violent behavior towards the end. That could have made him our villain. But instead we have a tragic hero on our hands and a villain who may or may not be dead. James, I want to trust you. I want to believe that you love Oliver and that you really did kill yourself out of guilt. Or did you just kill the prime contestant in the race and set it up so the one who loved you would willingly take the fall for you while you ‘faked’ your own death and walked away?
I mean, you’re an actor after all. If its the former, then ‘Awwwwwww Joliver!!’ If its the latter, then you are one cold blooded genius.
I don’t want there to be a second book. I hope this is a standalone novel. Not because I don’t want to read it (if there is a second book) but because having a second book will ruin the mystery this one has created. It’ll be like hoping for a dragon and getting a dragonfly instead.
You get my meaning.