With Malice by Eileen Cook
Release Date: June 9, 2016
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Rated: YA 14+
Buy: Available at all good bookstores!
Wish you weren't here…
When Jill wakes up in a hospital bed with her leg in a cast, the last six weeks of her life are a complete blank. All she has been told is that she was involved in a fatal accident while on a school trip in Italy and had to be jetted home to receive intensive care. Care that involves a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…. wasn't just an accident.
With no memory of what happened or what she did, can Jill prove her innocence? And can she really be sure that she isn't the one to blame?
I've been in a mood for thrillers this summer, so it's no wonder that I picked up Eileen Cook's latest novel With Malice. I've always wanted to read one of Cook's books–Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood, Unraveling Isobel–because she's a really well-known young adult contemporary author, and all her books sound amazing. I'm just really glad I got the chance to review this one. It had a slow build up, but damn–I was on the edge of my seat with this one.
Jill started out kinda meh, but she grew on me. I didn't completely like her, but I like that she was flawed. I would have totally hated being friends with Simone though–she sounded super bossy and like she controlled everything. I liked the whole unreliable narrator thing, because even though Jill is pretty clueless it's interesting to see the different accounts of her personality through the flashback narratives.
We as readers are not clued into anything from the get go, and we know as much as Jill's character does. The testimonies, interviews, etc. all portray the events, but as Jill finds them out too. This is probably why despite the slow pacing of the book I stuck in their till the end, because I HAD to know what happened. That being said, I was pretty happy with how the book turned out...until the very end. I mean, what? WHAT WAS THAT ENDING. The last chapter just threw away a perfectly good twist, in my opinion. The penultimate chapter was haunting, but nope–the book carried on as if nothing happened. Again, it's a whole deal with the unreliable narrative, but still. I was hoping for some closure, and I didn't really get it.
Other than my confusion at the end, With Malice was a slow thriller that keeps you hanging on until the shocking final reveal. Eileen Cook knows how to spin a fantastic story, and her latest book will keep readers on their toes, eager to know the truth.