This book was SO good. It was one of those books that you want to blaze through so you can know how it all comes together, but I had to force myself to put it down at times because I also wanted to savor it. It was that good. The book is told in an incredibly unique and compelling format and draws you in from the very first page and weaves a gripping tale of first loves, friendship, and the cost of loyalty when it comes to those you care about most. Megan Miranda brilliant wrote the book in reverse chronological order, starting with day fifteen of Nic’s stay in Cooley Ridge and ending on day one

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her home town and put the trauma of the disappearance of her best friend, Corinne Prescott, in her past. After the grueling searches and the brutal investigation into Corinne’s disappearance that Nic, her brother Daniel, her boyfriend Tyler, her friend Bailey, and Corrinne’s boyfriend Jackson were at the center of, she could no longer remain in the town she grew up in and continue to be suffocated by the rumors, whispers, and stares she was constantly subjected to by the fellow inhabitants  of Cooley Ridge. Cooley Ridge was the type of town that no one ever left, they just grew up and settled there like the generations before them.
After Corinne disappeared, it felt like part of Nic had disappeared with her. She and Nic had been best friends for as long as she could remember, and Corinne was the type of person who drew you in, tested you, and was both toxic and intoxicating. She was constantly pulling stunts that pushed boundaries between Nic, Bailey, Tyler, Daniel, and Jackson. When she disappeared, the detectives picked apart her life and broke her sense of mystery wide open by interrogating those closest to her. Her family was questioned and the fact that Corinne’s father was abusive was made known, and all the secret details of her life were made public, and Nic and the rest of their group were heavily interrogated and suspected to be involved or have more knowledge about what happened to Corinne that they were unwilling to share with the police. The cops never formally charged any of their suspects and her disappearance remained unsolved. The secrets that surrounded the night she disappeared haunted Nic, and she felt somewhat guilty for the resentment she still feels toward Corinne for the things that happened that night. Corinne’s presence, despite being physically gone, still felt like it surrounded her the minute she stepped back into Cooley Ridge.

When Nic left behind her hometown, she became a new person, found a new love in her lawyer fiance Everett, and a good job that lets her feel like she has really moved past her childhood and what happened with Corinne. All is good in Nic’s life until she is obligated to come back home to help with her father’s estate and help him get used to living in a nursing home and fixing up his house to sell. She helps her brother Daniel out with the logistics and while going through her father’s things she finds things that trouble her, so she decided to start looking into things and trying to ask her father questions on his more lucid days. When she sees her ex-boyfriend and first love Tyler, she is transported back to being 17 and still feels the magnetic pull he has on her and even begins to feel jealous of the young girl he is dating. Things become incredibly complicated when the girl goes missing, and the town is thrown into another whirlwind of chaos, devastation and suspicion. People didn’t exactly miss the fact that as soon as Nic reappears in town, the young, beautiful girlfriend of her ex-boyfriend has gone missing with no details guiding the investigation except for the fact that she had inquired about Corinne’s case to the local police shortly before disappearing without a trace and she just happened to be Nic and the group’s only alibi the night of Corinne’s disappearance.
Suspicions run high and again, the town in embroiled in a search and investigation. Nic feels the pressure of trying to figure out what happened to this girl in order to protect Tyler, who was the last person seen with her. It’s also because after Corinne’s disappearance, she knows people can be capable of anything.
Together with her brother Daniel, his very pregnant wife Laura, Tyler, and other people she talks to along the way, Nic feels as though it’s up to her to find out what happened to Corinne and now Annalise to protect her family. The novel’s main idea stem’s from the question, “How far are we willing to go for the ones we love?” Megan Miranda answers that expertly in an incredibly entertaining fashion.

This book is so incredibly well written, and the suspense starts to build as soon as you read the first page. With complicated, intense characters and the way small-town rumors begin to turn into fact the longer they linger, Megan Miranda crafts one of the best mysteries I’ve read in recent years. I know a lot of people lauded “The Girl On The Train” for it’s drama and suspense, but this novel surpasses its’ level of intensity and brought more heart pounding suspense that will keep you enthralled, without any of the extra padding in the story other authors sometimes use to distract from getting to the big reveal. Every detail the reader is given to absorb is put there deliberately and expertly so by the author. I sincerely recommend this book to all lovers of thriller and mystery novels, and I cannot wait to see what else Megan Miranda has in store for us readers.

Hope you all enjoyed the review,  I didn’t want to spoil the story for anyone, so I didn’t go into as much detail as I usually do with my reviews and for good reason!

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Happy New Year and happy reading!