The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Lizzie and Evie have been friends forever. They complete each other's sentences and Lizzie believes they even share physical sensations, they are so close. Both girls are 13 and on the edge of joining the real teen world of boys and high school when Evie is kidnapped by a child molester who has been watching her from the backyard for months.
Megan Abbott writes beautifully, and her pacing throughout this thriller is perfect. While I was reading The End of Everything, I couldn't help comparing it to Gillian Flynn's Dark Places because it captures the feelings and thoughts that a lot of us have or had and are ashamed of. For that reason, it's particularly creepy because she taps into our own cultural fixation on obsessive, smothering love and the sexualization of young adolescent females. At the same time, this novel is a remarkable literary achievement in that as I read from Lizzie's point of view, I really went back to that 13-year old perspective, and that's really saying something considering that I spend most of my time reading books that are supposedly about girls that age and sound nothing like them.
If you are interested in a tight thriller with real raw emotion about dysfunctional families and screwed up social mores, this is an excellent choice. If you want to stay in the fantasy bubble of what teen girls are supposed to be like on Lifetime, this isn't the book for you.
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