I will struggle to summarise this novel. It’s kind of a coming-of-age story with a bit of thriller thrown in. It is not “young adult” in the sense that has become popular recently – ie aimed at young teens, but the characters are aged from sixteen to twenty-six, so I’d say it’s fairly young adult.
There is two story threads developing together, linked by one character. There is a young girl being bullied at school, and the relationship she has with her family. There is an unhappy, or at least unsatisfied young man living with his brother and his brother’s girlfriend. Oh, and he is sleeping with his brother’s girlfriend. The link is the bullied girl’s older sister, she latches on to the unhappy young man. The sisters are part of a group of outcasts whose actions become more and more sinister as the story goes on.
Braffet is a good storyteller. This is her third novel but feels like her fifteenth, she has skills that many, much older writers have yet to develop. Her characters are mutli-layered and believable, and I do not see any of the major characters as having all-good or all-bad traits. At just over 300 pages the novel is just the right length, although the ending does feel a little rushed. I will certainly be reading her first two novels.