FIVE friends go to a cabin.
FOUR of them are hiding secrets.
THREE years of history bind them.
TWO are doomed from the start.
ONE person wants to end this.
NO ONE IS SAFE.
Are you ready to play?
Even though thrillers are so hit or miss for me, I seem to be drawn to every single one I stumble across. This one was no different. I had seen it around here and there, but when I finally found out what it was about, I was intrigued. And when I got the chance to read it, I jumped. Broken friendships and a deadly weekend, secrets and lies. It sounded like something that’d terrify me in the best way. Trigger warnings: blood, addiction, gore
I guess thrillers that I love are just really hard to find for me. This definitely isn’t a bad book and there were things that I really liked about it! There were just some aspects that I felt missed the mark or fell a bit flat.
Starting off, this book has SO MUCH REP. Like, I’m so shocked that I haven’t heard more about this! There’s a trans boy whose disabled, a non-binary person, and an autistic girl. I can’t comment on the quality of the rep other than it’s there. Expect the non-binary rep, which I loved. I also loved that so much of it is just there. The characters are trans, disabled, and autistic and that’s just fact. I loved how it was such a big part of the book, but also felt so casual.
The other thing that I liked was that when this book got it intense, it went intense. When it decided to ramp things up, it went all in.
I also really liked the role playing game all the friends played! They created such a cool fantasy world and I loved how it played into the plot.
Now on to the things that weren’t my favorite. I felt like this book was really, really wordy. There were so many flashbacks, and I didn’t quite understand the point of them. I liked seeing the group of friends when they were happy, but I didn’t quite get what they were supposed to add to the plot. And there just seemed to be so many of them. I think I got frustrated because I wanted things to move forward. There were so many long stretches of thought, about the deep feelings between characters or how they see their place in world, in between tense moments, that I felt like the tension and suspense was slowly draining out of the scene. And then flashbacks would happen and it just got two wordy for me.
This book also managed to seem too fast and too slow at the same time. I felt like two major things (trying to be super spoiler free haha) happened a bit too early. I felt like the thriller was kicking off and the mystery beginning before enough groundwork was laid. Then, as the book went on, I felt like the story dragged because of the wordiness. It was a weird mix of “please speed up” and “please slow down” at the same time.
I feel pretty neutral about the twist. It’s dark and it where the book begins to get intense. I wasn’t sure at first when it was revealed but the reasoning behind it was terrifying. Though, I do wish more time could have been spent on the effect it had and why it happened. I felt like it was cut a bit short and I would have loved to delve deeper into it.
All in all, I didn’t hate reading this book. The writing style is incredibly readable and it’s obvious that Nijkamp is really talented. I loved how much rep this book had and the intensity of it when it decided to go all in. There were just a few things that missed the mark for me. Nevertheless, I think it’s a really solid book!