Published by Doubleday Canada
Published On: October 13, 2015
Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Young Adult
Maturity Level: Young Adult - lots of violence
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Riley Vasquez is haunted by the brutal murder of the couple she was babysitting for.
Max Cross is suffering under the shadow of a life-altering diagnosis he doesn’t dare reveal.
The last thing either of them wants is to spend a weekend away at a therapy camp alongside five other teens with “issues.” But that’s exactly where they are when three masked men burst in to take the group hostage.
The building has no windows. The exits are sealed shut. Their phones are gone. And their captors are on a killing spree.
Riley and Max know that if they can’t get out, they’ll be next—but they’re about to discover that even escape doesn’t equal freedom.
I loved the whole idea of this book. I was hesitant when beginning it because I find a lot of the time mental illness isn’t done well in YA books. I haven’t found a good one, or one that doesn’t make the victim seem weak. This book did the opposite. It made the characters suffering with mental illness look strong and I liked that. It was a pleasant surprise for me but I knew I’d like anything Kelley wrote.
I loved the way that mental illness was portrayed. The characters were stronger for having gone through these things even though they doubted it all the time. I also really loved the variety of mental illness we got to see and how real they were. I don’t consider teenagers who “try” to commit suicide only to get some attention, to be people suffering with mental illness. That’s why I avoid books about mental illness a lot of the time. They make it seem like a big joke. This was real though, you could tell from the beginning of the book.
I also really loved the genre of this book. I find we don’t get to see a lot of YA thrillers which saddens me because I LOVE them. There’s something about them that pulls me in and this book was no different. I loved the action and the anticipating of wanting to know what was going to happen next.
The characters were all done really well. I love that there was a variety of different kinds of people. There were the bullies and the cowards in this group and then there were the other characters who stood out for being unsure and victimized. Those were the ones that you have to keep your eye on. Also don’t trust anyone in this book! It’s very mysterious that way.
The only couple of things stopping me from giving this five stars was that it was heavily about mental illness and that isn’t my genre of choice. I also found the ending a teeny bit predictable but I’ve also read all of Kelley’s books so I’m very familiar with how she writes. I’d still say that I loved this book though and would recommend it for sure.
I’d recommend this to mature readers of YA who might not have liked Kelley Armstrong’s other YA books. This one is very different but was still written very well. I’d also recommend it to those people who like to read books featuring mental illness because in this book it plays a huge part. It’s also the most realistic mental illness YA book I’ve read so far and it jumps out at me for that.
A thrilling YA suspense novel loaded with mystery, heart racing action, and a plot that will never let you put this book down.
“But I didn’t put it back on after the Porters. It isn’t a crisis of faith. I’m not sure I ever had faith, not the way Mom does. Mine is more like Dad’s – I believe there is a God, and I believe in honoring Him, but I’m not sure how much of a role He plays in our lives, and I don’t blame Him for that, because it’s up to us, isn’t it? It’s up to us to say we’ll be a good person because that’s what we believe is right, not because it’ll earn us a better place in the next life.”