Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on October 6th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery & Thriller
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Murder. Fire. Revenge. That’s all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths. Is the one person she trusts only telling her half the story? Nothing is as it seems in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the debut author Emiko Jean.
We’ll Never Be Apart is a psychological thriller that relies heavily on the reveal/climax that you can feel coming for the entire book.
I’m not usually a fan of mystery/thrillers that don’t deliver more substance in the build and hang everything on the answers, but with this book I think there’s an even bigger problem: it’s just not that original or shocking.
I can predict that your enjoyment of this book depends on whether the ending is a surprise for you. Having read several mystery/thrillers, both YA and adult, I guessed the outcome when I read the very first chapter. Some of these kind of books have characters and a clever psychological exploration that is strong enough to survive a reader who figures it out, but We’ll Never Be Apart is not one of those books.
After a prologue in which Alice and Jason are in a fire set by Alice’s twin sister – Cellie – the story moves to a mental hospital where Alice is being held. Everyone seems to think she set the fire that killed Jason, but Alice knows it was Cellie. She also knows that Cellie is being held in D Block and that it’s only a matter of time before she comes to finish Alice off.
If you’ve read this kind of book before, you might have already guessed it from that small blurb. If you’ve read books like Vanishing Girls or Twisted Fate, there’s really no point in reading this.
On top of this, the characters are nowhere near developed or interesting enough to be memorable. The psychological aspect is superficial and left relatively unexplored. And how Alice and her new friend Chase managed to sneak around a mental hospital so much is a complete mystery to me. Do they not have any security measures?
This book tries to build a story around a twist that many of us have seen before. The author should have invested more time into creating strong characters and backstory, instead of hoping the climax would be shocking enough to make us forget the rest.