I picked this one up spontaneously at Barnes and Noble with a gift card given to me by a friend. As I've said in the past, I love bare, spindly trees, and that is why this one caught my eye. I'd never heard of Ruth Ware before, but I have heard of her other book The Woman in Cabin 10, though I have never read it. I figured I'd get this one, read it, and see how it goes before I read her others.
So, my first impression of this book was that it had an awesome cover, and it looked sinister. However, when I went to read the little blurb that is typically on the back of a paperback book...it wasn't there! :(
I read it anyway and loved it. The main character is a hermit and a writer, so of course I identified with her immediately. Ruth Ware gives us several characters to keep track of, however she provides each of them with unique and defining qualities, so it's really not difficult to remember who they all are. (This was a difficulty I ran into at first with TheGirl on the Train).
It was thrilling. It was suspenseful, and it kept me guessing until the very, very end. Each character has a plausible motive, and it's really interesting to watch the story play out.
The front of the book has a quote from Reese Witherspoon, "Prepared to be scared...really scared!". I wasn't scared. I was edge-of-my-seat thrilled, but I wasn't scared. Sorry, Reese.
I've started taking notes as I read, and they do contain spoilers, so only keep reading if you're prepared for those, otherwise I'll see you at my next review! :)
P.S. I found the blurb not ON the back of the book, but IN the book, near the back, between the teaser chapter for the author's next book, and the book club discussion questions. Is it just me, or is this a REALLY weird place for a blurb? I didn't even see it until I had finished the book! What's the point of having it there? Are all paperbacks like this now? Am I really going to have to dig THROUGH every book to find its blurb? How long have they been structured like this? Am I the only one that didn't know? Sheesh!
My Detailed Notes (*SPOILERS!!*)
55 Pages In
By this point, the character's personalities are unfolding. There are any number of ways this story can play out, and I'll admit that I'm hooked. Call me cliche, but I like any story with a main character who is a writer. I love how Ruth Ware gets into the dirty details of each person, and their defining qualities.
130 Pages In
the plot has kept me guessing. We know from the beginning that our main character has just escaped narrowly with her life, and that she has life threatening injuries. It's interesting to see that the guests who DID come to the "hen" party, had all also grudgingly obliged just like our main character. By now we know that our character is presently in a hospital bed with a police woman stationed outside of her room, and what we read about the party is what she's trying to recall before they start questioning her.
It was really hard to put this one down, and I didn't realize how much progress I'd made. I disagree with Reese Witherspoon (sorry). This novel did not scare me, but it was incredibly thrilling. I was quite literally on the edge of my seat, and even breathless a few times. The author expertly gives us motive for each and every character, and it's hard to figure how things will end up, before you reach the end.
All that being said, Nina was my favorite character because of her wit, her lovely sarcasm, and her undeniable, although well masked, humanity.
If you have read this book, comment with your thoughts! Did you feel it was too predictable? Who was your favorite? Who did you hate? Why?
Happy discussing! :)