It Will End Like This / Kyra Leigh / Book Review

IT WILL END LIKE THIS

Charlotte and Maddi lost their mother six months ago. Her death was tragic but natural enough. That's what their father said, at least.

Her heart just stopped, or so the experts claimed, but Charlotte and Maddi know that hearts don't just stop. Not for healthy women like their mother. She wasn't old. She wasn't sick. It isn't natural, no matter what their father says.

And now their mother's personal assistant has moved into their house--more specifically, into their father's bedroom. She wears their mother's jewelry, lives their mother's life, and if that isn't enough, their father has decided to make it official: he and Amber are engaged. And Charlotte and Maddi aren't willing to let their mother's story end this way.


IT WILL END LIKE THIS


THOUGHTS

This book is supposed to be Lizzie Borden inspired, and there are hints of that narrative, for sure. But if you're looking for Lizzie Borden, don't look here. This is more high-key melodrama than anything else.


PROS

Lingering Grief I have read a lot of YA books over the past year dealing with grief, but most of these books begin (and end) in the immediate stages of grief--the hours, days, weeks after. This book doesn't end there. This book doesn't even start until months after the girls' mother dies, and the grief is still just as present and just as painful for them at that point. And I like that. I like that this book really shows that grief doesn't end soon after a loved one dies. It continues to affect life for a long, long time to come.

True Conspiracy Authors writing in the mystery and thriller genres generally try to divert the reader's attention from the true culprit by making most characters overtly suspicious, but the discerning reader can often see through this authorial smoke screen Not so here. Here, because of the main character's growing paranoia, everyone looks suspicious--even those with no possible reason to be involved in anything. This paranoia casts suspicion, and it is compounded by real and concrete evidence of something awry that comes up again and again. Ultimately, these things together work to make it seem as though anyone and everyone truly is conspiring against these sisters. There's just too much evidence.

Growing Paranoia Just as the sense of conspiracy and tension rises, the paranoia of the focus characters rises as well. That growing paranoia really helps to make the book stand out. At the beginning, our main narrator seems generally reliable (if a bit melodramatic), and so as a reader, you can get lulled into a sense of security with her. But that reliability begins to break down even as the evidence to support her theories stacks up--making her both crazy paranoid and potentially right.


CONS

I'm not a fan of melodrama myself, though I do know that many appreciate it to a certain degree. A bit of melodrama doesn't usually affect my review that much. The problem here, however, wasn't just that the narrative itself tends toward the melodramatic but that the narrative voice does. Melodrama seeps through the word choice and phrasing, making the narration very... annoying. I know this was meant to some extent to highlight the increasing paranoia of the characters, but it didn't really work for me. It just sounded overly juvenile and immature. Melodramatic Narrator

There is one particular side character who is highlighted early on as a potential love interest (though this book doesn't have a particularly strong romantic subplot). This character annoyed me because of the clich├ęs used in describing her. She is particularly special in the way she dresses, talks, acts. She knows more than others. She perceives more than others. She is not like other girls, and that's just a stereotype that I'm ready to get rid of for a good long time to come. Special Snowflake Love Interest

I know I said it was a good thing, narrative-wise, to have the whodunnit so hidden, to have so many characters potentially conspiring against these sisters. And it is a good thing, to some extent. But it does get a little out of hand. I like that so many characters had so much going against them, but at the same time, I couldn't help but wonder why? Why would these characters be suspicious at all when they didn't know you, your sister, your mother, your family, et cetera et cetera, at the time you supposed the crime happened? Why, exactly, would these entirely unrelated characters be conspiring against you? I know that we've got an overly paranoid narrator, but that's just one of our perspectives. There are two narrators--two sisters, after all--and they're not meant to be equally paranoid. So why did they both feel like everyone, everyone, everyone was out to get them? Endless Suspicions


Rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
5/10

Those who appreciated the dramatic interpersonal turns of Kara Thomas's That Weekend will love this high-key family drama. Those who loved the foggy uncertainty of e. lockhart's We Were Liars will like the unexpected twists of this Lizzie-Borden-style thriller.

THAT WEEKEND WE WERE LIARS

Details
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Date: January 4, 2022
Series: N/A
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Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.

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