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  • Writer's pictureAmelia Hooke

Review of 'We Know It Was You'

By Maggie Thrash, 2016, Simon Pulse

Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary

Rating: 👻👻👻 1/2 (3.5 out of 4 boos)

Quick note

I hadn't realized this book had a name change. My copy is old! If looking for this book, look for Strange Truth, the newer name.

“It's better to know the truth.

At least sometimes.

Halfway through Friday night's football game, beautiful cheerleader Brittany Montague—dressed as the giant Winship Wildcat mascot—hurls herself off a bridge into Atlanta's surging Chattahoochee River.

Just like that, she's gone.

Eight days later, Benny Flax and Virginia Leeds will be the only ones who know why."

What’s the main character like?

In a sophisticated and seamless way, author Thrash gets away with point-of-view changes not just at chapter or scene breaks, but from moment to moment within a scene. There are several third-person points-of-view, but the two prominent voices are Benny’s and Virginia’s. They are quite the odd couple, thrown together by their membership in their school’s Mystery Club (they are the only members). Unpopular and overlooked, Benny relishes in finding answers and sticking to his self-imposed club rules. Virginia, with her hasty and somewhat carefree personality, drives Benny crazy on their search for information related to cheerleader Brittany Montague. Both characters are complex and interesting and play off each other in a fun way.

How scary is it?

More of a thriller than a horror book, We Know It Was You is not frightening, except in the sense of, “These things could happen in real life! Ahh!” What may give some people a bit of a scare, though, is this book’s mature content. Sexual references. Underage drinking. Adults not painted in the best light. However, behaving badly is not celebrated in this book.

Who might like this book?

There’s a “slice-of-teenage-life” quality to this book á la John Green with Paper Towns. But as a thriller, it feels edgier, darker. People who love quick reads with colorful characters and bizarre mysteries will devour this book. Readers of One of Us is Lying and the Pretty Little Liars series might be interested in the mature content and multiple, third-person points-of-view. And dare I say, readers who like We Know It Was You might be interested in the book I’m writing now...

What did I like best?

I like the “odd couple” dynamic between Benny and Virginia. They envy and loathe each other’s qualities. They provide different skills to the Mystery Club. Their dialogue is often hilarious.

What was not so great?

The book leaves you hanging. But there’s a sequel. Sometimes with books in a series, I have that feeling of, “I would have been okay if the book had found a way to end with the first one!” I felt that about this one… which isn’t fair because I haven’t read the sequel! It’s probably amazing!

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