Release date: July 10, 2018
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: YA, Mystery
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.
I have a rocky relationship with YA mystery/thrillers, I actually quit reading them over a year ago because I found the ones I picked up to be predictable and not suitable for an avid reader of thrillers like myself. But as soon as I saw the cover of this I did a double take, it’s stunning! Then I read the description and got a Gossip Girl meets The Skulls vibe so I said, to hell with my self imposed YA thriller ban and added it to my TBR. I’m SO glad that I did, while this most assuredly is a YA novel it had enough depth and maturity to satisfy me and made for the ideal light summer mystery.
This flips between 2017 as Charlie begins her junior year at a prestigious prep school and then goes back in time to the mid nineties and you hear from both her mom and dad as they meet and get married. This was easy to follow along with, all the chapters are labeled clearly and each character had a distinct voice of their own, no confusion to be found. The whole elite, secret society at a boarding school has been done before but the author still managed to keep me engaged as Charlie had to complete a hazing of sorts to be granted admittance to the A’s. At the same time she is starting to look into her moms disappearance and finds out some things about her family that are shocking and disappointing. There was plenty of intrigue surrounding her moms disappearance to keep me interested, dark and long buried secrets and old feuds that Charlie knows nothing about along with a fairly tense current plot about her initiation. It’s also chock full of the type of characters I love to hate, always a bonus for me.
While there is nothing groundbreaking here Klehfoth was a talented enough writer that I was completely wrapped up in the dark history of the Calloway family and it felt like an ultimate guilty pleasure read. I may have figured out a few things before they were revealed but in the end I wasn’t totally right and I had a whole lot of fun along the way, and if I’m entertained when I’m reading I’ll always call that a win!
All These Beautiful Strangers in three words: Manipulative, Dramatic and Polished.
Overall rating: 3.5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.