Published July 16, 2013
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow!!! That was one heck of a book….
Apparently I am really late in reading this. I can’t believe I missed the hype (maybe that’s a good thing?). I came across it a few weeks ago and it peaked my interest. I thought it sounded interesting but I was very surprised by how much I liked it.
I was hooked right from the start.
A group of friends are excited for their senior year Spring Break trip to Aruba. Anna and her best friend Elise are especially excited for the trip. Anna is also happy her boyfriend, Tate and a few other friends are coming along. A couple of days in and the group seems to be having a lot of fun drinking and partying in the clubs etc..
However, their trip is cut short when Elise is found brutally murdered and Anna along with Tate are the ones being blamed for her death. I was addicted and unable to put this book down as Anna tried to fight the charges and prove her innocence in a country far from home.
There seemed to be some similarities to some real life cases in this book. Amanda Knox and Natalee Holloway to name a couple, but in my opinion there was still a lot of originality to this story. I was very interested in the Knox and Holloway cases. I watched quite a bit of the media coverage and read some of the books so that may one reason why I enjoyed this book so much. However, I really don’t think that’s the only reason.
Told from Anna’s point of view, the story moves easily from past to present. We learn more about Anna and Elise’s friendship and the relationship between Anna and Tate. Although it seems to focus primarily on the three of them, there are many other relationships and interactions with other people essential to the story.
The trial was like a circus. The prosecutor seemed to have it out for Anna from the start. I felt the tension and suspense as if I was in the courtroom watching it all unfold. As I read I remained uncertain about what happened and what was going to happen next…
I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be fighting for my freedom in a foreign country. How terrified I would be. It boggles my mind. However, I would never ever have been allowed to travel as a teenager to a foreign country without my parents. I’m terrified of the thought of it coming up with my own daughter. Would I allow her to go? I would not want to hold her back from experiences that could enrich her life, but I don’t know how I would feel about a trip like this or any other trip for that matter.
I thought the author conveyed Anna’s anxiety and the turmoil she was going through very well. She doesn’t understand how this could happen. How can everyone not see that she’s innocent? Who killed Elise? Was Tate involved? She starts to doubt everyone as they start to doubt her.
“Wouldn’t we all look guilty, if someone searched hard enough?”
This book was about much more than a student who was murdered on a spring break trip. Sex, love, jealousy, youth, guilt, innocence, and a whole lot more. Abigail Haas writes about relationships extremely well. Relationships between lovers as well as friends. The truth can be far from anything you would ever expect.
A fantastic and compelling read that I highly recommend!!!