Take the Fall
By Emily Hainsworth
Published: February 16, 2016
Twin Peaks meets Thirteen Reasons Why in this gripping and evocative tale of one girl unraveling the mystery of her best friend's murder, from acclaimed author Emily Hainsworth.
WHO KILLED GRETCHEN MEYER?
Fear grips the residents of Hidden Falls the night Sonia Feldman and her best friend, Gretchen Meyer, are attacked in the woods. Sonia was lucky to escape with her life, but Gretchen's body is discovered at the bottom of a waterfall. Beautiful, popular, and seemingly untouchable, Gretchen can't be gone. Even as Sonia struggles with guilt and confusion over having survived, the whole town is looking to her for information. . . . Could she have seen something that will lead the police to the killer?
At the top of the list of suspects is Gretchen's ex-boyfriend—and Sonia's longtime enemy—Marcus Perez. So when Marcus comes to Sonia for help clearing his name, she agrees, hoping to find evidence the police need to prove he's the killer. But as Gretchen's many secrets emerge and the suspects add up, Sonia feels less sure of Marcus's involvement and more afraid for herself. Could Marcus—the artist, the screw-up, the boy she might be falling for—have attacked her? Killed her best friend? And if it wasn't him in the woods that night . . . who could it have been?
Hidden Falls is a small town where not much happens. Sonia's family owns a diner where she works part time. She is a senior with a bright future ahead of her including a full ride scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania and she can't wait to escape her town though she will miss her best friend Gretchen who is heading to Stanford in the fall. Now though there is prom to look forward to and other memorable moments of senior year but all of that comes crashing to an end when Sonia is attacked in the woods one night after a party and her best friend is later found dead by the waterfall. Who killed Gretchen and attacked Sonia? She can't remember much of that traumatic night but the town is sure it is Marcus Perez. Marcus insists he is innocent but someone is still out there and scary things keep happening at school.
Take the Fall is a suspenseful story filled with unexpected twists and I wasn't able to figure out the truth until it was revealed. There are a lot of secrets and people who aren't what they initially seem. I liked the suspense and mystery of trying to figure out what was going on but I really didn't care for the romantic elements at all though thankfully that was not the major focus of the plot. Of course any time teens decide to investigate a murder, there are dumb or dangerous decisions made and I was frustrated with Sonia at times for the risks she took. Then there was that ending. I didn't expect that at all! Now that I've finished the book, I'm not quite sure what to think about it. If the story hadn't ended so abruptly after the reveal and allowed a sense of closure I would have liked it more. It was definitely entertaining and it's always a plus when I can't figure out "whodunit" early on. I think readers who like unreliable narrators and surprises would like this but some may feel conflicted about the ending like I was. I would certainly read another suspense novel by Emily Hainsworth and overall I did enjoy the reading experience even with the flaws. It put me in mind of Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepherd.
Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss