Author: Gretchen McNeil
Release: September 18th 2012
Genre: Horror, Thriller, YA
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Three-day weekend. Party at White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it.
It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.
But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.
Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?
Oh man, dude. I did not expect this. Admittedly, it did take me a few days to really get into it, but that was more my reading slump than the actual book's fault, and had I taken the time to read more of it than just a single chapter, I probably would have been finished much, much sooner. Because starting around page 30 or so, this book is going to hold you in its clutches and will not release you until you have finished. Trust me.
Murder mysteries? Sure thing, count me in — I always love those. Trying to find out who the killer is, especially at enclosed parties like these, where anyone could be the killer, and it's even a safe guess that the killer could actually be among the people? I love those most, because there's this sense of paranoia and you can't trust anyone that creates so much suspense, and let me tell you, McNeil really knows how to create tension. I was constantly anxious along with the rest of the characters as to who will be next and who's gonna make it and who's the GOSHDARN KILLER?!
There were some seriously intense scenes there that made me hold my breath in fear, and I shit you not my brother made some noise in the hallway and I startled so badly I almost peed my pants while I was reading this. This book had me almost panicking and thinking there was a killer in my own house, it was so well written. Kudos, McNeil.
Also, I think the characters felt very realistic in so far that, had I been there, I had probably reacted the same. Sure, they could seem a little too non-chalant, but honestly? What would you do in that situation? Try to collect yourself and keep your wits about you, surely, and I think that was portrayed perfectly here. Everyone was trying to hold themselves together and not full-on freakout, and come on, we did have a lot of panic attacks and paranoia cases that were more than realistic. Furthermore, most of the characters were really interesting and while not always likeable, I was intrigued by most of them nonetheless.
Ah, but there are some things that were really bugging me, which is why I'm holding back on 1.5 stars. One thing, the half star, is the ending, which was kind of disappointing and not as great as it could've been (<spoiler>I wish T.J. really had been the killer and Minnie & Meg would have gotten out of there like Ha fuck boys we're best friends and we're making it out alive fuck the patriarchy girl power yes</spoiler>) and that made the ending ultimately extremely underwhelming and forgettable. The next point, the major one that has annoyed me the whole time was the whole love triangle thingy. The relationship between T.J. and Meg was wholly inappropriate at that point (seriously, five people have been killed, that is not the time to have a makeout session), and was done very awkwardly in my opinion, because I did not see why exactly they'd fit so perfectly and yadda yadda yadda, and then there's the fact that Minnie was such a bitch about it of course. Had she really been a good friend, nevermind her illness that's not an excuse, she wouldn't have been so bitter.
Oh well, I still massively enjoyed this story and it freaked me out plenty, in a very good way of course. A very excellently done Horror novel I thoroughly enjoyed, and is most definitely worth the time. Also, it gets bonus points because it reminds me a lot of that one Dark Brotherhood quest in Oblivion called "Whodunit?", where you're locked in this mansion with five other people and you have to kill them without them noticing you're the killer. So much fun that quest.