Thursday, March 21, 2019

Book Review: What She Gave Away

I'm getting back into my reading groove and I love it. I'm slowly working into it but thankfully I've had some really great review books (almost all thrillers, oddly enough) and that's really helped. Today I'm reading this one because it sounded really good and bizarre. Let's chat.

What She Gave Away - Catharine Riggs

Revenge is anything but sweet in this twisty thriller about two women with very different lives locked in the same deadly game.

Imagining the best way to destroy a person’s happiness is Crystal Love’s favorite game. Devious and unpolished, the plus-sized loan analyst couldn’t be more out of place in her new town of Santa Barbara, where the beautifully manicured women never age and the ocean views stretch farther than the million-dollar lawns. And yet her eye for the power dynamics at play in this tony community is dead accurate.

Kathi Wright, on the other hand, has made it her life’s work to fit in with the plastic people who surround her. But when her husband—a wealthy bank president—dies suddenly, she’s left with nothing. Then the FBI shows up, asking questions she can’t answer and freezing assets she once took for granted.

While Kathi struggles to outrun the mess caused by her husband’s mysterious death, Crystal seems focused on her game. But why? And who are her targets?

Spanning two years and told in Crystal’s and Kathi’s alternating voices, this tautly plotted novel reveals the power of choice and the price of revenge. 

I was really excited to start this book and thankfully it was actually a pretty fast read. Instead of chapters it just flip flops between Crystal and Kathi's voice so you keep thinking you'll read one more section but then you realize you've just read half the book.

What's really interesting is there is so many reference's to Crystal's weight and Kathi's skinniest and I thought that was just really strange. I'm actually going through a body image boot camp and we talk a lot about that and society's obsession with it. Now, had I read this book even six months ago I don't think I would have even noticed it but now I do, and it's constantly being tossed into your face and it's aggravating because why is Crystal's weight such a big deal? Does it make her seem more like a villain than if she was skinny? Is Kathi more sympathetic because she's smaller so if it were a show down in the street you'd think, "Oh poor Kathi- Crystal is going to kill her!"? It's strange and that kind of turned me off on the book once I realized how often this was going to be referenced.

I liked the premise of this book, I liked the idea of the story and I though this would have made a really great thriller IF a lot of clues weren't given in the first 100 pages or so. I was able to figure out how the book was going to end, the path to get there, the entire thing. That was pretty disappointing. Still, I hung in until the last page because I wanted to see if by chance I was wrong but nope. I was completely on target and I was a little disappointed- I wanted a crazy twist at the end that blew me out of the water but it didn't happen.

Also, Crystal is set up as a villain but honestly? I kind of liked her. Which probably says something about me as a person, but her birth parents were kind of terrible people. It doesn't justify what Crystal ultimately does to them but I understand why she would do it. It also kind of makes you wonder how far the apple really goes from the tree, right?

In the end, I'm giving this one a solid 3 stars. I liked it, no more and no less. It has a good plot, my only complaint is I wish I didn't really make the connection so early on in the book.


No comments: