Lured by wild nights of debauchery and a trip of a lifetime, Anna sets off to Aruba with her best friend Elise and boyfriend Tate for the final Spring Break of their senior year. When they arrive, the booze is flowing and the antics are high as Anna’s group of friends party full-tilt. But when they wake up in the morning to find Elise brutally murdered, all of a sudden Anna is trapped in a foreign country fighting vile accusations. As clues emerge and the history behind Anna and Elise’s friendship is revealed, questions surrounding Anna’s innocence are put at the forefront in a media frenzy that results in a shocking conclusion.
This book is edgy, contemporary Young Adult at its very best. It’s definitely aimed at a more mature YA reader, with many scenes depicting some pretty heavy partying and some sexual scenarios that might not be suitable for a younger reader. That being said- it’s intriguing from the first page to the last, and man- I didn’t really see that ending coming. I had all sorts of theories as I read about the culpability of the players involved, but I wasn’t expecting that ending at all. It was a great, dark twist that left me thinking long after I turned the last page.
This book does an excellent job of really digging into the nitty gritty of the dark side of female friendship. Elise and Anna have a very complicated relationship that might even border on some sort of obsession, and the flashback chapters peppered throughout the book do an excellent job of setting up a crime of passion that can only occur with a complicated female relationship. There’s plenty of jealousy and fuel for the fire that lead to the ultimate questioning of Anna’s innocence.
This was a wild ride, from the opening scenes tat depict these friends partying to the final mind-blowing payoff. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a gritty contemporary YA.