The Things We Do to Our Friends – Heather Darwent

I, Hannah, read this book for NetGalley, and it is out today. This book follows Clare, who wants a fresh start in college. And to finally make new friends. When she falls in with a dynamic group of rich children, she is shoved into their lives. But will they reveal her dark past?

This book is a tough one for me to review. Honestly, I wish I liked it more than I did. I really, really liked the idea of this book. It felt like a million other thrillers at the start of it all: a shy girl goes to a “fancy” school, and then gets swept up with popular girls. But this book took a few unexpected turns that really surprised you. That said, the execution was way too rough and muddled, and it honestly failed to stick the landing for me. The problem is the POV, honestly. It wanted to take us down one lane and have us see the main character through a specific lighting, and then shock as you read it. But then it just made the entire book confusing and convoluted, and made the main character too weird to feel real. 

The things this book did well was the few shock value moments. A few of them worked incredibly well. But the author tried for at least 3 too many. A few of the shocks felt too silly to be worth your reaction in context with the overall novel. Then a few were trying to do something, but in the end made you feel like “well of course this happened, why didn’t you use this as an opportunity to flesh out the character more.” It almost made me feel like the author wanted to have certain characters see certain things that were wrong for what was really happening, but then expected the readers to take their statements and points of view as fact. And they just weren’t really hitting for me. 

Overall, this is a thriller with a few better twists than most. I was expecting more gothic horror and was disappointed when that didn’t happen. 

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