Publishing Info: October 6, 2015 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Psych/Mental Health, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 2, 2015
That’s all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths.
Is the one person she trusts only telling her half the story? Nothing is as it seems in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the debut author Emiko Jean.
I’m always interested in a good psychological thriller so I was really excited to start WE’LL NEVER BE APART, especially when I was looking for something with an edge to read around Halloween time (you know… for those horror-chickens like me)! As with most psychological thrillers, I went into this one nearly blind so I could be surprised by any twists that might occur.
WE’LL NEVER BE APART definitely had its thrilling moments but… maybe I’ve read too many psychological thrillers recently… I totally guessed the twist after the first chapter. This was one of those books I was hoping I was wrong and that there would be something more surprising coming but turns out my guess was accurate. It was kind of a bummer because then I spent the rest of the book reading it assuming what the twist was and it made it a bit anticlimactic instead of exciting and mysterious.
I did appreciate that the story really dug into deeper layers as the book went on. I struggled for a bit in the middle because, well, once you know the twist, the suspense deflates a bit so I didn’t feel as hooked as I had hoped. Things really start to pick up around 50% to 75% in and the pacing really picked up! I found out so much more about the backstories of the characters and there were some very shocking revelations about their backgrounds and how their past affected their present/future.
I think the thing I was disappointed in was that even guessing the ending or not, the middle of the book didn’t seem to develop as much as I had hoped. I’m sure being in the dark would have left some suspense and I would have felt more of a pull to read but even still, I feel like there wasn’t too much going on in the middle. I’m not sure what I was expecting — more action? More thrilling moments? More hints at backstories earlier on? — but the book as a whole just didn’t quite grab me. I enjoyed the ending and thought it culminated nicely but again, it just didn’t feel like anything original for me. I do like when books end on a sort of open note like this — it’s all tied up in the end as far as plot goes but there’s juuuust a little jab that makes the reader think twice and I kind of love when horror/suspense books do that!
WE’LL NEVER BE APART felt a bit like it fit the mold of the other psychological thrillers I’ve read so it was nothing too new for me, BUT I think if you’re new to these sorts of books, this could be a really fun one! Unfortunately, it just wasn’t a perfect fit for me.
“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!
Alice // Character Obsessions: Cellie, Jason, defeat, escape.
Alice wasn’t a very deep character for me… I guess I shouldn’t say deep but I just really didn’t connect with her like I had hoped. I think it would have been a lot more enjoyable had I been able to get a better feel for her character and really get into her head but I felt really disconnected from her. She never quite panned out to a real person to me and just felt like a story.
Kept Me Hooked On: Psychological thrillers. As much as I felt this one was a bit too predictable, it did leave me with a craving for more books like this. I love when books mess with my head and take me totally by surprise and I think it’s always a good thing when a book leaves you wanting more of anything.
Left Me Wanting More: Surprises. I just really wish this could have been something I couldn’t have guessed. Or maybe I could have been led off that path to be surprised that what I had guessed really was the ending. It’s hard to say!
I’d recommend this if you’re more of a newbie to psychological thrillers. If you’re a veteran to these types of books, you’ll probably guess the ending as well and I’m not sure the rest of the story is appealing enough to really stay suspenseful and shocking. For me personally, I just wasn’t as connected as I had hoped.
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(Click the cover to see my review!)