This book is stupid and terrible and I fucking hated it. It's full of stupid and mean people, doing stupid and mean things to each other.
I forced myself to keep reading through the boring sludge that comprises approximately 80% of the book in order to see if I was right about who was behind it all and I was. But the reveal itself was also stupid and boring. I should've have DNF-ed and saved myself some brain cells.
If you still want to read this one then stop here because spoilers abound.
The only genuinely kind person in the entire book dies - is murdered - because the two main characters are fucking horrible people. But we will get to that in a minute.
I was really interested in this one after reading the premise, despite the stupid names of said main characters.
Ambrosia "Amb" Wellington and Sloan "Sully" Sullivan. Why the nicknames included, as if they're important? Their nicknames are not important.
Ambrosia is a stupid name for a stupid person in this stupid book.
While we are on the topic of stupid names, here is a stupid name combination that also caused me to roll my eyes so hard I thought they might roll right on out of my head: the nice girl who died is named Flora. Her sister's name is Poppy.
Because, of course.
Both of these names are great on their own. But, COME ON?! SISTERS NAMED FLORA AND POPPY? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!
I will refer to the terrible main characters by their stupid nicknames because that is mainly how they are referred to in the book.
Amb and Sully are described as former best friends, but that's also stupid. Sully is a psychopath who does not care about anyone but herself and discards people when they no longer amuse her or do her bidding. Amb had this insane desperation to be liked and became the perfect little puppet for Sully. This was not a real friendship. Amb herself is pretty terrible though too, because she is a willing participant, so fuck 'em both.
Theirs is the very definition of a toxic friendship, but Amb quickly became an all-too-willing participant in Sully's mindfuck games. She wanted to blame Sully, kept saying Sully was so charming, she could make anyone do anything. Yet Amb is just as much of a psycho, in a different way.
The story alternates between now-ish (2017) and their freshman year in college, in 2007. Amb keeps getting emails about the reunion, and information on events. Only later does the dumbass realize the emails she and Sully were getting were not from Wesleyan, but from a Gmail account. She discovers this after mentioning the email updates in a group at the reunion and everyone looks at her like she's a moron, because none of them have gotten any emails, they have all used the itinerary that they were given when they arrived - the same fucking itinerary mentioned for Amb to pick up when she signed in.
I don't mind unlikeable main characters. I love a good unreliable narrator almost more than anything. But Amb was not this. She was just a horrible person and there was no reason for WHY.
In fact, there is no reason ever given for why Sully is so terrible to begin with. We are told she is charming and can make anyone do anything, but how is this possible? Whenever we see her, she is being terrible. Zero charm at all. All she does is party and drink and do drugs and steal guys' phones to mess with them and mess around with any guy who is marginally attractive. Yet somehow she passes all her classes and stays in school. I have no idea how, but it happens.
Other girls in the story are mean too, but to a lesser extent because Sully overshadows them all. And there is no explanation of why for them either.
There is nothing redeeming about Amb or Sully, even as adults. In fact, they're even worse as adults, if that were even possible - because they are STILL TERRIBLE PEOPLE.
Amb is married to Adrian, who is a few years younger than her. We know he is hot, and a bartender, and never finished college, but was a bigtime slut when he was there. He wants to have lots of babies and loves Amb a whole lot. He is just as flat as everyone else. They have no chemistry and I have no idea why he is there, except to be able to divorce her in the end, when she is pregnant, so he can raise their child himself and marry Poppy. Or whatever.
Amb, on the other hand, does not want babies, lies to him about stopping her birth control pills, never tells him of this huge secret from college where her ROOMMATE DIED, and basically hides who she is for the entirety of their marriage.
I felt so terribly for Flora. She is trusting and caring and for some reason this made Amb hate her. Mainly it comes from Amb's self-esteem being so fucking low, I guess from high school when she wasn't cool enough or whatever. Sully is apparently the epitome of cool, but really she is just Regina George on steroids. (Side note: I love the movie Mean Girls and it is fantastic. And actually redeems not-so-great people.)
The pacing was fucking terrible. Slow-burn thrillers are one thing, but good God, this was just TEDIOUS.
I wanted to DNF it a lot because it was so slow and boring and NOTHING WAS EVER HAPPENING. But I also wanted to know if I was right about who was seeking revenge, so I slogged my way through. Unfortunately the reveal was pretty boring too (though I was right, it was Poppy!) and then suddenly the book was over.
Sully and Amb are so poorly developed. There is nothing about their backgrounds, other than Sully was sent to Spence because her mom couldn't handle her, or something? I don't even remember. And Amb talks about saving up money in high school for a designer purse, just to belong.
So maybe Sully really is just a sociopath who likes to fuck with everyone all the time? Because we never get any idea as to why she acts the way she does. As Cordelia once said to Buffy in the series premier, "What is your childhood trauma?!"
But then what does that make Amb? She goes along with everything because she does not want to lose Sully, but her own thoughts are just as twisted and fucked-up. She hates Flora and practically bathes in the misery she causes with the texts she sent from Kevin's phone - AFTER Amb fucked him in the bathroom at a party. In that time, Sully had made her way over to their dorm and killed Flora. Nice, huh?
OH! And Flora went out one night with Amb and Sully, and ends up being raped. It was heartbreaking, because Flora is so broken by it. She feels terrible and guilty because she thinks she has cheated on her boyfriend (the one who ends up with Amb in the bathroom) and she doesn't necessarily know if it was rape, because she didn't say no. But she sure as hell didn't say yes, which makes it rape. It's also revealed by Poppy in the end that she was pregnant due to the rape. She had never had sex with her boyfriend, there was no other possible father. I keep thinking about her line at the end of the chapter, "I didn't want to do that" and it makes me so fucking angry for her, over and over and over.
This book is an utterly insane waste of time - and money if you were thinking of buying it. If you still want to read it, do yourself a favor and get it from the library.
In the end Adrian leaves Amb at the reunion and says he wants a divorce and she tells him she is pregnant. He leave anyway. Poppy comes in and kills Sully with a knife from Amb's kitchen, then hands the knife to Amb. Poppy starts screaming and party-goers rush into the room to save her. Sully's dead, Amb goes to prison for life, Poppy is making moves on Adrian a year later as he is now a single dad taking care of baby Jane.
I mean, whatever. This book is trash, the characters are trash, everyone is mean and stupid and I can't think of a single person I would recommend this too. Maybe someone I don't like. But even that feels mean.