I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book from Netgalley and Berkley Books. This has not impacted my rating and this review is voluntary.
- Genre: Thriller, Suspense
- Published by: Berkley Books
- Publish date: January 25, 2022
- Number of pages: 336 pages
- Author’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/ejanebrazier
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A destitute woman deceives her way into the guesthouse of a Hollywood Hills mansion and inadvertently becomes a target in the twisted game of the wealthy family upstairs in the next intoxicating novel from Eliza Jane Brazier.
Lyla has always believed that life is a game she is destined to win, but her husband, Graham, takes the game to dangerous levels. The wealthy couple invites self-made success stories to live in their guesthouse and then conspires to ruin their lives. After all, there is nothing worse than a bootstrapper.
Demi has always felt like the odds were stacked against her. At the end of her rope, she seizes a risky opportunity to take over another person’s life and unwittingly becomes the subject of the upstairs couple’s wicked entertainment. But Demi has been struggling forever, and she’s not about to go down without a fight.
In a twist that neither woman sees coming, the game quickly devolves into chaos and rockets toward an explosive conclusion. Because every good rich person knows: in money and in life, it’s winner take all. Even if you have to leave a few bodies behind.
I got confused about what this book was trying to achieve, which is, of course, more of a statement on me than on the book.
I read Brazier’s first novel “If I Disappear” last year and enjoyed it. When I learned she was coming out with a new novel, I was excited to see what dark world, I’d be thrown into next. Unfortunately, this world I don’t want to be a part of.
The story is told from the perspectives Demi and Lyla. I personally wasn’t a fan of the switch between the two POVs and having to recalibrate to the changing timelines. I think it’s fine if one of these is done, but both are a lot to mentally keep track of. I also didn’t think the inner thoughts of both characters were distinct enough.
The most unique aspect of this novel was this “game” played by Lyla and her husband where they rent out their guesthouse and have to ruin the life of their guest. It’s dark and twisted– I got major “Cruel Intentions” vibes. However, there is a twist in this game and that lies in their guest Demi, who has something to hide as well.
Honestly, there were just too many things going on in this to flow well and not be confusing. However, there are some spectacular scenes that I still think about which is rare for me in novels.
- Dark, intriguing characters
- Social commentary on homelessness
- Although the characters are intriguing they are not believable or realistic
- The final two chapters are confusing and I don’t know where Demi/Lyla end
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to know!