Title: All These Beautiful Strangers
Author: Elizabeth Klehfoth
Published: 19th July 2018 (also my birthday!)
Source: ARC (Thank you, Penguin!)
I saw the photographs and realized I had been wrong about everything. Because my father hadn’t built the house on Langely Lake to keep everyone else out. He’d built it to keep us in.
Seventeen-year-old Charlie Calloway appears to have a life most people would kill for – a tight-knit family, a loyal set of friends, and top grades at a prestigious boarding school. But when a mysterious invitation arrives from her school’s exclusive secret society, she finds herself thrust into a world of dark secrets – ones which implicate her family in not one but two crimes, and force her to reckon with a demon she thought long buried in her past: Who or what was behind her mother’s disappearance ten years ago?
It’s not every day you get sent a book that’s due to be published on your birthday! Described as the next Summer thriller, I was intrigued by this book. If you read the blurb above, you can see why. I do love a good mystery/thriller sometimes and with such a pretty cover, how could I resist?
All These Beautiful Strangers started off a little slowly. The chapters were a little too long for my liking, but once I got into the story and the mystery, I felt that I was able to fly through it a little bit faster. The book is told in 3 different perspectives at differing times. The main 2 are Charlie Calloway and Grace Calloway and these perspectives are set 10 years apart. It can get a little confusing when there are different points of view but I think that because of the past/present view, this worked out well.
The book follows Charlie Calloway as she goes through the process of figuring out what actually happened to her mother following her disappearance when Charlie was younger and what the motives were behind it. Whilst doing this, she also is invited to her school’s exclusive club, the A’s. The A’s essentially pull off what could be called extreme pranks/blackmail situations. Essentially it’s an elite group who carry out someone’s horrible things and basically rule the school.
I thought that the plot was easy to follow despite the changing chapters almost every time. The pace did pick up towards the middle of the book which was good as that kept me interested. Obviously when you read a thriller/mystery book, you try to figure it out yourself before the main character does but even though I tried to myself, my prediction was still wrong although afterwards it seemed sort of obvious!
Whilst this book was good, I did struggle a little bit with the chapters through out as they were quite long and I also struggled at first to fully get into the story. I think this was because there’s a lot of build up and background given to the story which ended up being helpful but at the beginning, it felt like there was quite a bit of background. Other than the long chapters, the writing was enjoyable and when the chapters were shorter, I felt like the pacing was good. The author was also good in creating different and individual voices for each point of view.
I’m giving this book 3.5 stars as I did like it and I did enjoy it but it just hits under the 4 star mark as the chapters were quite long which can make getting though the book quite slow. I would recommend this book still as I always love finding new crime/thrillers in the YA genre as I don’t really feel like we have enough of them. It’s a great read for anyone who wants to branch out into this genre and it’s not totally predictable either with its storyline so that’s definitely a plus!