It’s been five years since Summer Marks was brutally murdered in the woods.
Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend. That driven by their obsession with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn the three girls had imagined themselves into the magical world where their fantasies became twisted, even deadly.
The only thing is: they didn’t do it.
On the anniversary of Summer’s death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as the lines begin to blur between past and present and fiction and reality, the girls must confront what really happened in the woods all those years ago—no matter how monstrous.
“But maybe the magic, like Lovelorn, never really existed: just another memory to let go.”
I feel like these stories are being done way too often in the YA genre now. The alpha, bossy, controlling female, and the weaker friends following in said friend’s footsteps. Not to mention, one of the friends has an obsessive crush on the other friend, and alas all of the problems start. And then you get to the plot and mystery aspects that the author is trying hard to create and then poof! here you are at the ending.
I do have to say though, the opening to this book was strong and grabbed my attention from the get-go but I feel like after you rush through the first two chapters you’re ultimately being set up for a slow 75% of a book. And I…mean…s l o w. Everything starts getting messy and lost in translation and when that happened I had a hard time keeping everything straight.
The characters were not the strongest points in this book and for a book that is mostly character driven, that can be a huge let down. Not only that, but the plot execution was not one of my favorites. The reason Summer was murdered was not only underwhelming but it also felt super underdeveloped. Give me more than a 1-2 page explanation as to what happened, I wasn’t there, so I need those pieces to put it all together, the author can’t just expect me to know.
What I did like about the book was the way the past and present were all woven together. Initially, I did struggle with it in the very beginning but it got better as the chapters got shorter and went on. I seem to enjoy when books do this though, setting us up to experience what happened to the characters eventually. The build up is fun, however, when not executed well, it can be a bummer once you get to the end.
“That’s the thing about hearts. They don’t get put back together, not really. They just get patched. But the damage is still there.”
The story inside of the story, Lovelorn, didn’t interest me in the least bit. I skimmed a lot of because I couldn’t figure out why it needed to be included. Sure, the whole book is based around it but a few of the scenes that were shared seemed to be more of fillers than serving an actual point to the plot.
While I didn’t necessarily love the book, I feel like I could have read it all in one sitting and I would be lying if I said it didn’t attract me in a lot of places. The plot and characters had a lot of potential, I just felt like the author didn’t take well enough care of them. She was too focused on the shock factor of the story, which wasn’t at all shocking.