Murder, Mystery & Blood Sports – Thriller Mini Reviews

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It feels like its been way too long since I last posted a review, and so today I thought I would share with you some more mini reviews, this time for three YA thrillers that I’ve read recently!  Despite my usual neglect of the thriller and mystery genre, over the last few months I have begun to try out a few more of these books that I otherwise would not have been super interested in, as I am almost always on the side of people who are disappointed by or underwhelmed with the reveal at the end of these books.

So here are all of my thoughts on some of the most recent thrillers I’ve read!


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After her dream holiday is cut short by the murder of her best friend, Anna finds herself on trial for her death in this dark tale of friendship, youth and secrecy. 


One of my favourite aspects of this story was the split timeline and narrative, as throughout it we follow Anna through the trial after Elise’s murder, and beforehand through flashbacks of the many events that seemed to led to the present day.  Not only did it help to keep the story moving, but it also allowed us to really explore the characters as we get to see them experience so many different things that ultimately led them to where they are after Elise’s murder.


Not only does this thriller deal with the murder of Elise, Anna’s best friend, but through the split narrative we also get to explore many of the darker and more taboo aspects of youth such as underage drinking, drugs and sex.  And whilst this does mean that this is certainly a more mature YA book, I actually found it really added to the overall dark and scary atmosphere of the book, as we are presented with the realities of our teenage characters experiencing these less accepted, and sometimes even illegal things.



Whilst the uncovering of Elise’s death is the key mystery within this story, I also adored the mystery surrounding our characters, whose detailed personalities we get to explore and delve into throughout this book as well.  At one point of the story, you think you have a character figured out, only for another aspect of them to be revealed that completely changes all your thoughts on them, something that I adored seeing.

(tw: death, murder, violence, drug abuse)



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When Beatrice and her five former friends reunite a year after graduation, Beatrice hopes to uncover the dark truth behind her boyfriend, Jim’s, death.  So when a mysterious man knocks on the door and explains that time has stopped, only to be restarted after the group make a shocking choice, Beatrice might just get the answers she desires.


The supernatural aspect of this book, with our characters trapped in the Neverworld Wake for the majority of it, was one of the key things that drew me to this particular thriller.  And yet, I found myself pretty disappointed by its execution all in all, as instead of our characters trying to solve the mystery of their friend’s death, they all decided to wander off aimlessly and waste their time.  Due to this, I found alot of the middle section of this story fairly boring, as weren’t actually getting any closer to uncovering the key mystery this book is entirely centred around.

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Without spoiling the key final twist in this book’s tail, I personally was not a fan of it at all, as it almost negated the entire purpose of the rest of the story.  Instead of leaving my shocked and questioning everything in an attempt to figure out what in the world just happened, I finished this book feeling deflated and pretty underwhelmed unfortunately.


One of the few things that saved this book for me was Marisha Pessl’s gorgeous writing style, that instantly made me want to keep reading from the offset, if just for that.  It kept me reading sections that I otherwise may not have pushed myself through, and really helped to build a mysterious atmosphere throughout this book.

(tw: death, violence, suicide, murder, depression)



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Nine students.  Three blood sports.  One deadly weekend.


Alot of the times I see people talking about thrillers, I see them mention plot twists right till the very end of the book, which is definitely the case with this one!  This story keeps you guessing throughout, as the characters slowly uncover the mysteries surrounding this strange weekend, and manages to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout, shocking you even when everything seems to have ended happily ever after.


Not only does this book keep you turning the pages with its shocking twists, but it also instantly immerses you in its eerie atmosphere that anyone will struggle to escape.  Everything from the spookily isolated setting of Longcross Hall to the strange staff and deadly blood sports, as well as M. A. Bennett’s writing, add to this book’s creepy atmosphere that is bound to send shivers up your spine.



If complex characters who seem ever so trust-worthy one minute and then deadly the next are your sort of thing, then definitely read this book!  Almost all of our main characters are so well written that, like Greer, you have no idea who to trust and who to run as far away as possible from, making them that much more deadly and dangerous.

(tw: death, violence, suicide)



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Are you a fan of thrillers?  What are some of your favourite books from the genre?  Have you ever read any of these – what did you think?  Do you agree with my thoughts?



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