I am taking a break from the fairy tale retellings, with their monsters and madness to read a…murder mystery! There a great quote that makes this transition apropos, “Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that the dragons can be killed.” As most of us know, there are very real monsters in this world. We see havoc they wreak every day on the evening news. What we really need to know is that no matter how big or ugly or powerful they are, we can defeat them. They don’t have to ruin our lives completely and forever.
Brynn, Mia, and Summer are loners in their own ways. Brynn is prickly and loud. Mia is super shy and fearful. Summer is the new girl who brought them all together and held them there with her fierce charm. Their days were spent daydreaming about a mystical place called Lovelorn from a novel Summer discovered. They wrote fanfiction based on the book but weird things began to happen that blurred the lines between reality and fiction. Then, Summer was brutally murdered and Brynn and Mia were implicated. There wasn’t enough evidence to charge them but court of public opinion labeled the girls evil, witches, murderers. Brynn discovered a sanctuary in rehab and Mia was buried under her mother’s hoarding piles. After several years, a random piece of evidence dropped into Mia’s lap that changed everything and brought the two girls back together to try and figure out what really happened to Summer and themselves.
Lauren Oliver is a consummate storyteller. This twisted tale of love, betrayal, and loss will engage you from the opening line, “Five years ago, when I had just turned thirteen, I killed my best friend.” I mean, seriously, how could anyone put the book down after that? It was an excellent read. I will admit to being surprised at who the murderer was, which is a difficult thing to do when you read and watch as many murder mysteries as I do. Fans of that genre, buckle up buttercup!