A review by effy
Going Dark by Melissa de la Cruz


I enjoyed this book enough to continue reading and see where the story would take me but overall it just seemed to miss the mark.

Unfortunately I think chekhov's gun was just way too obvious to me. The moment that it was mentioned that
SpoilerJosh didn't pack his own suitcase,
I felt as though I knew what had happened. When it was revealed
Spoilerthat the police had found blood in Josh's suitcase, knowing that he hadn't packed his own suitcase,
I felt as though my suspicions were just confirmed.

I essentially felt as though I went though the whole of this book hoping that the story wasn't going to be a 
SpoilerGone Girl
scenario and doing mental gymnastics for other scenarios. I somewhat appreciated that the book recognised what it was doing to the extent that one of the chapters / parts was called 
Spoiler"Girl, gone"
but it just left me feeling unsatisfied.

I am unsure if the intention was for the reader to understand what had happened with Amelia throughout and were just looking and waiting for the motivation to be revealed. I think it would be the generous position to take and would help to explain why it seemed so transparent. If that was the case, I think the book could have been structured better with Harper, Amelia, and Mignon's chapters interspersed earlier and evenly so that hints and misdirects could have been introduced earlier.

I think there was a little logic absent in the story, especially surrounding 
SpoilerHarper's role in the plan as it simultaneously seemed like Amelia needed Harper to reveal the information to the police but it also wasn't part of the plan? If Amelia was relying on the police to connect the dots between Josh and Bennet, that didn't fit her character as she seemed to have lost faith in their ability? Also, Wendy Darling? Really?

I also didn't like that the ending seemed to have some teeth then changed its mind at the last minute.

I suspect the flaws that I found with this book are because I am not the intended readership of this book. This may be a disservice to young adult readers to say that they may not have picked up on the breadcrumbs that were more like loaves of bread. And maybe they wouldn't be as familiar with 
Spoilerthe twist of Gone Girl?
But that is really the only way I can see this book having been so well-received initially.

Favourite quotes:
SpoilerDying now wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen to her. The worst had already happened.

SpoilerWhen I die, hopefully sometime far in the future, I wouldn't mind being buried here among the watchers of Club Nightmare. Place my skeletal remains among the masses, let me become the six million and one. Scatter my bones to lead the way for future travellers, roaming the path between life and death, let my hands hold a candelabra, let my spine support the chandelier, let my skull smile at those who smile back.

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