Hi friends! If you’ve been around recently, then you know that I’ve been OBSESSED with mysteries as of late. So I was really excited for this one, but I think I needed to adjust my expectations just a bit.
A huge thank you to Penguin Teen for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!
In Gold Coast, Long Island, everything from the expensive downtown shops to the manicured beaches, to the pressed uniforms of Jill Newman and her friends, looks perfect. But as Jill found out three years ago, nothing is as it seems.
Freshman year Jill’s best friend, the brilliant, dazzling Shaila Arnold, was killed by her boyfriend. After that dark night on the beach, Graham confessed, the case was closed, and Jill tried to move on.
Now, it’s Jill’s senior year and she’s determined to make it her best yet. After all, she’s a senior and a Player–a member of Gold Coast Prep’s exclusive, not-so-secret secret society. Senior Players have the best parties, highest grades and the admiration of the entire school. This is going to be Jill’s year. She’s sure of it.
But when Jill starts getting texts proclaiming Graham’s innocence, her dreams of the perfect senior year start to crumble. If Graham didn’t kill Shaila, who did? Jill is vows to find out, but digging deeper could mean putting her friendships, and her future, in jeopardy.
I went into this expecting a sort of mystery-thriller, balanced with teenage drama. So essentially, something along the lines of All Your Twisted Secrets. But that isn’t quite what I got. This has way more Gossip Girl vibes, and less mystery.
Jill Newman…is a character. She’s loosely likable but it’s not like I would raid an ice cream truck for her or anything*. She’s actually not one of those rich kids that naturally attend the Gold Prep Academy, she’s there on scholarship. Which of course, made her slightly more relatable! I really adored her relationship with her brother Jared the most though. Sibling relationships always get me.
*i’m pretty sure it’s illegal to steal ice cream anyways…
Everyone else ANNOYED THE CRAP OUT OF ME. But in a good way? They’re meant to be spoiled rich kids who do dumb stuff just to be top of the food chain (or should I say SCHOOL chain*). I thought that the author did an excellent job of writing a clique that’s bonded by the terrible things they’ve done while still allowing each character to have redeemable qualities.
*this is the end i’m becoming carlos ladies and gentlemen
I do wish that the mystery aspect had been more intriguing though. We get flashbacks from Jill remembering her time with Shaila and the other Players. I mean, Shaila was allegedly killed by her boyfriend Graham right? Yet, most of the book focuses on the drama within The Players and how much everyone tries to forget what happens. The mystery aspect isn’t as fleshed out as it could have been because it gets so little page time. In turn, I was able to guess the murderer with a certain degree of ease. It’s not that this was a bad book because of that, but I wish I had known that this was less of a mystery and more of a complicated drama.
Overall, this was an interesting read. I’d definitely recommend this for fans of books like Gossip Girl or The Thousandth Floor, because the focus is mostly on drama with just a dash of mystery. You can add this to Goodreads here or preorder here! Tell me:
Is this on your TBR?