My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)
Synopsis from Goodreads:
From the author of The Darkest Lie comes a compelling, provocative story for fans of I Was Here and Vanishing Girls, about a high school senior straddling two worlds, unsure how she fits in either—and the journey of self-discovery that leads her to surprising truths.
In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.
When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong…
I signed-up for this book tour simply because it’s an #ownvoices and I thought that it’ll be a nice contemporary to read. Well I was wrong because this is actually a thriller so it had this creepy vibe all throughout that had me…on the verge.
I don’t know how to perfectly summarize the plot but basically we follow Kanchana or Kan for short, she’s either too westernized for her grandmother or simply the “exotic” Thai girl to the rest. She doesn’t feel like she belongs anywhere. Then enters, Shelly. I have no idea how to describe her but her mother recently died so she has to live with Kan for some time. Eventually things begin to become a little sketchy and you know just read it to find out more.
What I love about this book is the richness of culture inside of it, I got to read and learn a lot about the traditions and it has a lot of Thai dishes that made me hungry while reading. It’s really commendable how the author showed the microaggresions Kan had to deal with especially at school. Plus it’s also really diverse and inclusive which is always a plus in reading.
Now let’s talk about Kan. I can say that I didn’t like her a lot and I didn’t really care for her character. I don’t like how easily her thoughts were manipulated, there were a lot of times when Shelly was being really creepy and Kan was also already creeped out inside but she was still staying chill on the outside because she wants to be nice to her. Her character was overall underwhelming for me and even towards the end, there was only a little character growth seen.
Shelly is a creeper. That’s the only way to describe her, I think the author did a great job with her character because Shelly really got to my nerves. She got me so annoyed and frustrated, I just wanted to lock her up and keep the others safe.
Ethan is the
love interest. Besides being extremely good-looking and a ballroom dancer, I can’t think of anything else to say about him. Oh, I guess he became a plot device for the story. The romance for me felt forced and flat, we don’t get much after the initial attraction between Ethan and Kan.
All these being said I guess this book was a bit more plot-driven than character-driven, which explains how it didn’t dwell that much into the relationships of the characters. What I mean is there was an establishment with the relationships but it wasn’t fully explored or grown. Overall, the plot was fairly predictable. The story had a mysterious and creepy vibe but it won’t make you second guess your assumptions.
This book felt like that suspense movie where you yell at the main character to not trust the really disturbing person but they trust them nonetheless. It was a fun and quick read that made me turn page after page. If you like contemporaries with a thriller punch then try reading Girl on the Verge.
A huge thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for letting me participate this blog tour and for the publisher for providing the eARC.
If you want to check out the other reviews/posts that are part of the tour just click here.
And CLICK HERE to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card! (INTL)
About the Author:
Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.
Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. Her debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. Her other novels include THE DARKEST LIE, REMEMBER YESTERDAY, and the novella BEFORE TOMORROW.
She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com