About The Book
Nine years ago, with the world’s eyes on her, Charlie Colbert fled. The press and the police called Charlie a “witness” to the nightmarish events at her elite graduate school on Christmas Eve—events known to the public as “Scarlet Christmas”—though Charlie knows she was much more than that. But when a buzzy film made by one of Charlie’s former classmates threatens to shatter everything she’s worked for, Charlie realizes how much she’s changed in nine years.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/42PrVri
This book was a lot different than I thought it would be. It is a very character driven thriller, with an unreliable narrator. Normally, I don’t mind that, but this book fell flat. Not to say that the story wasn’t gripping – it just wasn’t as engaging as it could’ve been. I feel a lot of that has to do with how the author went about telling the story.
In the book, we follow Charlie, who is living in New York and working as a journalist. Years ago, she survived Scarlet Christmas – a massacre that took place while she was in grad school. Now, with a movie being made about the horrific event, Charlie is afraid that the gaps in her memory from that night might come back to haunt her.
The only character we really get to know in this book is Charlie. There was a heavy focus on Charlie’s PTSD and the gaps in her memory about that fateful night. Understandably, the reader is supposed to follow Charlie along as she tries to fully remember the night of Scarlet Christmas. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like we got to know enough about Charlie, or her past, to really get invested in the storyline.
“Perhaps we have to be incentivized, people like me, to not cause any more death.”
My biggest issue with this book is that it’s told mostly in present day. Although Charlie is actively trying to regain these memories of the past, the book mostly focuses on her current struggles, and whether or not to trust her own mind. It would have been nice to have more than just the here and now. Perhaps, alternating the chapters between the present and her time in college.
However, the author did attempt that closer to the end of the book, but at that point, you’ve kind of already figured out where the story is going. Also, it can be a little bit confusing, since we flip back-and-forth from the past to the present within the same chapter. It was a writing choice that I didn’t enjoy, but the writing in general wasn’t my favorite. Still, I tried to keep in mind that this is a debut novel.
Overall, it’s a decent book, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a thriller. I found there to be only one major shocking moment throughout the entire book. Especially since I guessed the ending twist when I was only about 70% into the book. If you would like to pick up the book, I would recommend checking trigger warnings since it deals a lot with trauma, trauma bonding, and mental health issues.
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Until The Next Chapter,