A review by dbguide2
Going Dark by Melissa de la Cruz

dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


 Going Dark is certainly more than what it appears to be on the surface. At first it speaks of a simple relationship between two people who seem to lead simple lives – and dating each other in what also seems to be a simple act. What you get from their relationship looks easy and happy, or so it seems. And I really enjoyed that – seeing how it changes from looking like an easy relationship to something much more.

I’ll be honest, I was not that interested in Amelia from the beginning. I didn’t like how she was written or how she acted. But then as the story progressed more and more things started to come out about her and she became more likeable. But only a bit because I still found her actions and the path she took not the best one for her, Did I understand why? Yes. Did I like any of it? Not so much. Of course I’m not going to sit here and say “here’s what I’d do differently” because I haven’t lived her life, I haven’t gone through what she’s gone through. Doesn’t mean I have to like it, though.

I think that’s why I rated it 4 and not 5 stars – because I wasn’t a fan of her actions and the reasons behind them. Other than that, I really enjoyed the book. I don’t know if my rating would change if either her actions were different or if I could understand them more. 

The characters were interesting to get to know and I liked everything we learnt about them. I am most certainly not interested in influencers – even if they push the narrative that they’re down-to-earth and don’t put on a farce for the camera. For me when you start to gain a large following you’re inevitably going to make the decision to pull back a bit – show less of your life, keep some activities private because they mean a lot to you. You might even take a few classes or courses surrounding anything social media marketing. So all of Amelia’s pushing to show that’s super down-to-earth and doesn’t really care about her following – I didn’t buy it at all, any of her personality. Maybe de la Cruz purposefully wrote her that way, maybe it was just my personal feelings.

Josh was an interesting case as I originally did like him. That also changed as the book carried on. I actually thought I as I liked him less I would like Amelia more – but that didn’t happen, which was interesting to me. I can’t say much without spoiling the book but I liked seeing how he dealt with Amelia going missing and everything that came from that.

We get some flashbacks of another girl who went missing two years ago who never received the attention that Amelia Ashley received. Of course a good reason (for that) is because Amelia is very famous and has other famous connections. I found it interesting the connection the one character (Harper Delgado – whom I really liked and wanted to know more of) made between the two. Both pretty girls, both this and that, but the previous girl had nothing done for her the way Amelia had. It really shows the truth about any missing case, really. That some missing people aren’t deemed as important as others for various reasons – popularity, money, mental state, even race as a reason as to why they are missing – even though the ‘reason’ is lack of evidence. 

I definitely want to revisit the book now having read everything so I can see if there are any puzzle pieces to be found before the big reveal. Probably will wait to see if it’ll get an audiobook and reread it that way. I have read a mixed media book as an audiobook before (These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall) so I know that I’ll like another one.

I love mixed media in a book and while I liked what we got I also would have been very happy with even more. Amelia Ashley is an influencer and I felt like there should’ve have been more focus on her posts and her journey as an influencer. Especially as we got more into the story, I would’ve loved to have seen more time dedicated to that. 

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