Love a mystery with teenage drama?
All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Published: 10th July, 2018
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In the last day of summer, Grace Fairchild, the beautiful young wife of real estate mogul Allister Calloway, vanished from the family’s lake house without a trace, leaving behind her seven-year old daughter, Charlie, and a slew of unanswered questions.
Years later, seventeen-year-old Charlie still struggles with the dark legacy of her family name and the mystery surrounding her mother. Determined to finally let go of the past, she throws herself into life at Knollwood, the prestigious New Englandschool she attends. Charlie quickly becomes friends with Knollwood’s “it” crowd.
Charlie has also been tapped by the A’s—the school’s elite secret society well known for terrorizing the faculty, administration, and their enemies. To become a member of the A’s, Charlie must play The Game, a semester-long, diabolical high-stakes scavenger hunt that will jeopardize her friendships, her reputation, even her place at Knollwood.
As the dark events of past and present converge, Charlie begins to fear that she may not survive the terrible truth about her family, her school, and her own life.
Did someone say a decade old mystery? Well, if they were talking about All These Beautiful Strangers, then they sure did! But there’s a lot more going on here than just a girl trying to find out what happened to her mum ten years ago.
In fact, in the beginning she doesn’t actually give a toss about that, considering everyone in the Calloway family is under the impression that Charlie’s mum just simply took off one night. Charlie is of course pissed off about being abandoned. Who wouldn’t be?
She doesn’t have too much time to worry about this though, because she receives an invite to join Knollwood Prep’s secret society, the A’s. The A’s are The Shit in this posh high school, and every wannabe cool kid dreams about being a member. In my opinion they are just a bunch of assholes, who create chaos and destruction for basically no reason. They are not promoting anything, they are not doing it to create awareness, they are just a group of entitled teenagers who think they should be allowed to do anything they fancy just because they can. Why Charlie wants to join? Well, because they are cool… no? No idea. During the initiation process they recruits get humiliated, perform illegal heists, and have to swear secrecy, or else their dirty secrets will be exposed. They also get expelled if caught. Sounds lovely.
On top of this Charlie’s uncle is back, and he insists that her mum, Grace didn’t just disappear and he has evidence. After meeting her mum’s side of the family, Charlie takes it up on herself to dig into the mystery with the help of Greyson, the son of Grace’s best friend. Greyson is sort of hot, brooding and has the tendency to sneak into Charlie’s dorm unannounced, which really is kind of a problem, since Grace is also hooking up with one of the member of the A’s. It’s not quite a love triangle though, so all is well.
So as she starts unraveling the mystery, her suspicion grows. There’s probably more to her mum’s disappearance than meets the eye. When she and Greyson stumble upon yet another deadly secret related to Grace, they go into full detective mode.
This is certainly a fast paced and quite entertaining mystery, but I didn’t particularly like Charlie. Her reflections on most of the scenarios were rather odd. The timeline shifted between the present and the past, and I much more enjoyed the chapters told by Grace from the past. There were some twists and turns that were just damn delicious, but I’m always kind of skeptical when it comes to amateur investigators. I was pretty satisfied with the ending, but I’m not sure how the real detectives actually pulled the whole thing off after our self appointed detectives messed around with all the evidence.
I do love the author’s writing style, so I think I’ll be looking out for her next book.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.