One of the few times when the phrase “shocking conclusion” has merit. This series has only grown more intricate, and with this, the finale to the trilogy, we are steeped in the realm of nightmare. Having Mara locked and restrained in a psychiatric institute, drugged repeatedly against her will, with no one believing the truth, is all very dark and makes for tough reading. The story does not stay in the darkness indefinitely, but it remains harrowing and intricately plotted. I recommend it, since I was unable to put it down, but this is among the darkest YAs I’ve ever read. Recommended for 17 and up, due to sex, violence, and nightmare fuel.
his YA series has grown much darker in this second novel in the series. 17-year-old heroine Mara Dyer remains an unreliable narrator as her life seems to crumble around her. With this novel, the series takes a leap into suspense, almost into horror.
Mara and her boyfriend Noah are part of the “kids against the world” trope, but it’s made much more realistic than usual, since none of the adults in her world believe her because she’s mentally ill. Is she really hallucinating? Has she made it all up? Or is she being gaslighted by parties unknown? Since the narrative is first person, we don’t know those answers either, and we feel the tension and fear along with Maya. For age 17 and up, due to sex, violence and the fear factor.
This is a strong, well-written book, but it is so, so not for me. This first book in a mystery/suspense series by Atlanta author Williams has lots going for it. Its Atlanta setting is immersive (you can feel the Georgia heat)and it really establishes the city as a second character. And our terrific heroine, private eye Keye Street, is an Asian-American Southerner – tiny but tough, and brainy but fighting her own demons. But the hunt for a twisted serial killer is seriously disturbing, and while I’d love to have drinks with Keye, I can’t hang out in her books.