By Emily Hainsworth
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: February 16th, 2016
WHO KILLED GRETCHEN MEYER?
Fear grips the residents of Hidden Falls the night Sonia Feldman and her best friend, Gretchen Meyer, are attacked in the woods. Sonia was lucky to escape with her life, but Gretchen’s body is discovered at the bottom of a waterfall. Beautiful, popular, and seemingly untouchable, Gretchen can’t be gone. Even as Sonia struggles with guilt and confusion over having survived, the whole town is looking to her for information…could she have seen something that will lead the police to the killer?
At the top of the list of suspects is Gretchen’s ex-boyfriend—and Sonia’s longtime enemy—Marcus Perez. So when Marcus comes to Sonia for help clearing his name, she agrees, hoping to find evidence the police need to prove he’s the killer. But as Gretchen’s many secrets emerge and the suspects add up, Sonia feels less sure of Marcus’s involvement, and more afraid for herself. Could Marcus, the artist, the screwup, the boy she might be falling for have attacked her? Killed her best friend? And if it wasn’t him in the woods that night…who could it have been?
There are plenty of reasons I could list for not liking this book. From the awkward romance that exists between the main character, Sonia, and her dead best friend’s ex-boyfriend, Marcus, to the fact that none of the characters are likable, especially the dead chick, there is a lot of material available to grate on my nerves. However, the main sore point that stuck out? How the author played out the concept of the unreliable narrator. This could get a little convoluted.
So the book opens right in the action, which is all good, and Sonia has just been attacked and Gretchen is off being missing/dead, which is all well and good because if I had to witness her character at all this book would have been a straight up DNF before the end of the first chapter. Now, normally when you have an unreliable narrator, the story is flecked with instances where you get hints that all is not right. You get the inkling that narrator isn’t telling you the full story before you actually find out that they aren’t. In this case, however, you are skimming along and then Sonia just word vomits something that would have been really helpful to know a few chapters back and this information isn’t something that you really see coming at all, its more of a convenient plot device. Also, throughout the story there is a nice little red herring swimming around the edges that is all like look at me, and you do, and honestly that person makes much more sense as the murderer than what actually plays out.
The thing is, I was looking for a little more something on the unreliable narrator front than word vomit. If I wasn’t going to get the traditional murder mystery I felt that I’d signed up for, then I wanted a little more mind bending fun times. I wanted more than Sonia just conveniently forgetting to mention something.
Onto the characters. Oh Jesus, this poor bunch of ridiculous excuses for people, how I dislike you all, but like a gruesome car accident I just can’t look away or put down this book. Now first Marcus. I don’t like you. I think you are gross, mainly because you had a crush on Sonia and then slept with her best friend just because she thought your art was all kinds of great. And then you still had feelings for Sonia, but continue to go out with Gretchen anyway and then you also have post-breakup sex with her. Dude, the only thing that makes sense to is your penis.
When the book started I figured it would play out that Gretchen would be scum. However, I didn’t expect to have to deal with Sonia’s inner monologue with how Gretchen shouldn’t be blamed for anything because she isn’t there to defend herself. Please. In this case, you can’t speak anything but ill of the dead, because she’s as nutty as peanut M&M’s with a sister to match.
Sorry, Take the Fall, I just can’t stand you. I really can’t say if its a just me thing, because it probably isn’t. And no one is more disappointed than me, trust me, because I love a good YA mystery.
If you like what you read above, please follow using one (or more) of the social media sites in the sidebar!
Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. A physical ARC was provided through Around the World ARC Tours, thanks for the opportunity!