Thursday, March 16, 2023

NetGalley ARC | Tell Me What Really Happened


I received a free digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I received an email from NetGalley indicating that the first five hundred requests would be approved.

Rating ⭐

I don't even fucking know what I just read.

In theory, I would have loved this one. Unlikable teenagers being secretive? YES PLEASE!

Sasquatch lore, but could be interesting.

Spoiler alert: it was not.

Also, there will be spoilers so if you are thinking of reading this dumpster fire, stop here.

So there are stories about the woods and Salvation Creek and over the years many people have gone missing. When/if they've been found, the surrounding circumstances were very strange. Of course, this group of five teens are going into these woods for a random camping trip planned by their lead bully/BFF, Maylee. When only four of the group come home, each has a wildly different story explaining their trip and what they knew about Maylee's movements before she vanished.

The way the story is told is something I like, alternating points of view from the four, but the characters themselves just don't all work. Petra, Maylee's best friend, is the prime example. She was such a charicature, it was absurd. And no way, given her father's position on the police force, would she have offered up all the information that she did because some of it made her look insanely guilty - and for someone who repeatedly presents herself as such an expert on police procedures, surely she would have known talking like all of this would not look good for her, or any of them. She was completely obnoxious and ridiculous. Petra rambled more than anyone and it was just so unlikely.

The whole Sasquatch angle was so riduculous because of how much it seemed like it was going to be important to the story and it fell just as flat as everything else. Petra's half/step-brother (can't remember which) Nolan is obsessed with Sasquatch and guess what? He ends up being the one who kills Maylee, because he THOUGHT SHE WAS A FUCKING SASQUATCH THAT WAS EATING MAYLEE. I mean seriously, what in the actual fuck.

The story alternates among various points of view and we are to believe that the four surviving teens (Nolan, Petra, John {Maylee's boyfriend}, and Abigail [Maylee's former friend]) would just freely talk and ramble and go on and on, knowing they are suspects in Maylee's disappearance. Except John. He does the smart thing and does not answer many questions. Of course, this makes him look guilty. He's not.

So here's what really happened when Maylee disappeared - she invited her ex-friend Abigail to help her stage her disappearance because she wants to be an influencer and wouldn't it be such a huge draw to be the girl survived a few days alone in the woods and eventually returns to civilization? As stupid as that sounds to a normal functioning human being, we also have to accept that this is part of our culture today. No matter HOW absurd it seems.

In the course of the teens all being interogated, Maylee's body is found, the story all comes out, and I was left dumbfounded, asking myself why I wasted time and what the fuck just happened.

The concept was intriguing. I love unreliable narrators and multi-character viewpoints. Those are sure-fire ways to catch my attention.

But Petra and the Sasquatch nonsense ruined what could have been a really good book.

Highly NOT recommended.


  1. But Sarah, please tell us how you really feel!! (Love it! Not the book but your honest review.)


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