MAN OH MAN, prepare to be royally mind fucked!! Excuse my language but there really isn't a better way to explain your foreseeable future. I want to climb a ridge, a bluff or at least a very tall fire escape, a la Westside Story style, and scream until my voice gives out about just how F'ing messed up/awesome this book is. I read it in one sitting and wish I was just starting from scratch. In fact, I'm already having withdrawls mere hours after finishing the last page. I can't get it out of my head! The writing is raw and unapologetic, natural and most definitely addictive. I can't believe how ravenous I became after just a few sentences. I didn't really know what to expect going into it and I highly suggest you do the same. Once you finish the first chapter you'll undoubtedly find yourself, like I did, maniacally flipping through the pages fiending to find out what's going to happen next. It keeps you guessing at almost every turn and your guesses will take a more dark and sinister turn the further you get into the plot... it's equal parts horrific and wondrous. The world building will transport you right into the thick of things on the very first page and never let you go. It's so rich you can smell the Crazy wafting in the air.
There is no sure footing with this book. It feels like tightrope walking, sans safety netting, while on Xanax and a pitcher of margaritas... not that I endorse trying that at home, or anywhere else for that matter, BUT I do endorse reading this book with all of my (twisted tale loving) being. Trigger warnings for extremely horrific parenting, allegations of child abuse, a boat load of codependency, bouts of social anxiety, a possible self-abortion attempt, a smidge of adultery and of course MUUUUURDER... dum dum dum.
This creepy, psychological thriller will suck you into a time warp and by the time you come up for air the night will have evaporated and you will find yourself sequestered in the same reading spot you entered the book in, entirely ignoring the crowded family soiree you helped plan. It is the perfect candidate for a "One More Chapter" chant along with a few rounds of "We're here, we're readers, get used to it" (preferably followed by an emptying room and some hours of uninterrupted silence).... ahhhhh now THAT'S living the dream!
But I digress.
Know what else this book does? It grabs you in a death grip and leads you into a forest of misdirection and false leads... commanding you to splash around in the murky puddles of a few deviously wicked minds. I loved every single unscrupulous character! Not a single one was a clear cut case of "Good" or "Bad" and somehow Colleen Hoover manages to make you feel deeply for each and every cast member, even the mentally jacked up ones. Just when you think you have a character pegged (ahem, Verity I'm most definitely looking at you), Mrs. Hoover flips the script and gives you a whole new perspective on the rapidly decaying situation. Know what else I loved? The ending! Being able to say that is such a rare and treasured event! Just as there are no clear cut morally superior characters (though Jeremy is incredibly swoon worthy), so too is there no tidy, conveniently wrapped up in a neat little karmically neutral sparkly bow, ending.
Overall, I can't endorse this trippy read more emphatically, that is if you don't mind an extended stay in Disturbia. This is headed straight for my Favorites pile and I bet you'll chuck it into yours as well. Go ahead and squirrel away a chunk of time and pick this one up, you can thank me later.