Ambrosia (Amb) receives an invite for her ten-year college reunion along with a note that reads, “We need to talk about what we did that night.” She soon finds herself leaving her carefully-constructed present to attend the reunion and revisit a past she’s tried to not only move beyond but shove deep down into the dark places no one will ever see.
Amb’s attempts to navigate the present-day reunion are nearly as harrowing as her attempts to survive freshman year. Back then, her desperate need to be liked drew her in like a dysfunctional tractor beam to the worst influence possible -- a beautiful and wild classmate named Sully.
While Amb explored her dark side with Sully, she did something that had deadly consequences. And it becomes clear - at the reunion - that someone is seeking to out her and seek revenge.
She realizes that the games she played back in college, under Sully’s watchful eye, may soon become matters of life and death.
This book shocked me a lot, shook me a bit and had me thinking about it long after the last page. It’s a psychological thriller with a dash of psychological horror and a pinch of social commentary.
The story is told through the alternating timelines of Amb’s freshman year of college (then) and her current life and attendance at the reunion (now). It’s impossible not to relate, at least to some extent, to the youthful angst, insecurities and difficult social dynamics these female characters endure. The desperation and power jockeying is heightened for dramatic effect in the book, but those exaggerations are grounded in some painful truths.
For a gender that has suffered the pressure of always being polite, sweet and not too ambitious (*eye roll*), sometimes it’s cathartic to experience girls being the very opposite of that. And personally, I love stories that explore the darker side of human nature, so that we can recognize it within ourselves. As Jung wrote, the more you become familiar with your own shadow side, the less you project it onto others. Okay, Jung said it way better than this, but you get the gist.
If you liked Mean Girls or Girl, Interrupted or anything else that is dark and wicked fun, you’ll love this!
If you don’t like any of those titles, then ‘f*** me gently with a chainsaw,’ I give up.
(Bonus points to those who know what bad-girl movie that quote is from!!)
This hits the shelves March 9!
Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the ARC!