Warnings: Violence, Domestic Abuse, Mature Themes
An intensely readable page-turner with more twists than an M. Night Shyamalan movie, That Weekend is a young adult mystery thriller about a trio of friends that disappear in the woods. The story begins with Claire, the only one of the three that is found injured and alone in the woods with no memory of what happened that weekend. It’s the perfect set-up for a summer thriller.
The first twenty percent of the novel was slow, setting up Claire’s story and her relationship to her two best friends. It was essentially just Claire’s romantic drama with three different teen boys and while I found it exhausting, I wasn’t too surprised given that this is a YA novel. The plot flirts with the romantic suspense genre which was decent, it’ll hook the right reader.
Thankfully the meat of the novel was really great, the mystery about what happened and the drama that unfolds between the characters made it hard to put down. I blazed through most of the novel in one sitting and stayed up all night reading, it was that engaging! I even came to like Claire, even though I found all of her boy drama to be frustrating.
I really wanted to know what happened, but all the plot twists bombed the ending for me, there was just too much and the narrative goes so wildly off the rails, I couldn’t help but sigh. Claire, who the reader follows for most of the book, is just as naive, useless, and frustrating as she was at the beginning of the story. The book overall didn’t quite stick the landing for me, but I can appreciate it for its merits and will be a good summer thriller for readers to devour.
“I’m angry because there must be answers locked in my brain somewhere, memories I still can’t access after six months. The answer, the rest of the story, could still be in there.”