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All These Beautiful Strangers

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In the last day of summer, Grace Fairchild, the beautiful young wife of real estate mogul Allister Calloway, vanished from the family’s lake house without a trace, leaving behind her seven-year old daughter, Charlie, and a slew of unanswered questions. Years later, seventeen-year-old Charlie still struggles with the dark legacy of her family name and the mystery surrounding In the last day of summer, Grace Fairchild, the beautiful young wife of real estate mogul Allister Calloway, vanished from the family’s lake house without a trace, leaving behind her seven-year old daughter, Charlie, and a slew of unanswered questions. Years later, seventeen-year-old Charlie still struggles with the dark legacy of her family name and the mystery surrounding her mother. Determined to finally let go of the past, she throws herself into life at Knollwood, the prestigious New Englandschool she attends. Charlie quickly becomes friends with Knollwood’s “it” crowd. Charlie has also been tapped by the A’s—the school’s elite secret society well known for terrorizing the faculty, administration, and their enemies. To become a member of the A’s, Charlie must play The Game, a semester-long, diabolical high-stakes scavenger hunt that will jeopardize her friendships, her reputation, even her place at Knollwood. As the dark events of past and present converge, Charlie begins to fear that she may not survive the terrible truth about her family, her school, and her own life.


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In the last day of summer, Grace Fairchild, the beautiful young wife of real estate mogul Allister Calloway, vanished from the family’s lake house without a trace, leaving behind her seven-year old daughter, Charlie, and a slew of unanswered questions. Years later, seventeen-year-old Charlie still struggles with the dark legacy of her family name and the mystery surrounding In the last day of summer, Grace Fairchild, the beautiful young wife of real estate mogul Allister Calloway, vanished from the family’s lake house without a trace, leaving behind her seven-year old daughter, Charlie, and a slew of unanswered questions. Years later, seventeen-year-old Charlie still struggles with the dark legacy of her family name and the mystery surrounding her mother. Determined to finally let go of the past, she throws herself into life at Knollwood, the prestigious New Englandschool she attends. Charlie quickly becomes friends with Knollwood’s “it” crowd. Charlie has also been tapped by the A’s—the school’s elite secret society well known for terrorizing the faculty, administration, and their enemies. To become a member of the A’s, Charlie must play The Game, a semester-long, diabolical high-stakes scavenger hunt that will jeopardize her friendships, her reputation, even her place at Knollwood. As the dark events of past and present converge, Charlie begins to fear that she may not survive the terrible truth about her family, her school, and her own life.

30 review for All These Beautiful Strangers

  1. 3 out of 5

    Michelle

    Let me begin this review with LOOK AT THAT COVER! Doesn't it just scream summer? So gorgeous! I actually did spend the day at the beach with my toes in the sand, sun on my shoulders, and this book in my hand. What a glorious day! Now to the story! Elizabeth Klehfoth has written a clever YA mystery novel. Is it all completely believable? No, it isn't. Is it a fun page turner? Absolutely! Charlie Calloway is the wealthy daughter of Allistair Calloway who is a highly regarded real estate mogul in N Let me begin this review with LOOK AT THAT COVER! Doesn't it just scream summer? So gorgeous! I actually did spend the day at the beach with my toes in the sand, sun on my shoulders, and this book in my hand. What a glorious day! Now to the story! Elizabeth Klehfoth has written a clever YA mystery novel. Is it all completely believable? No, it isn't. Is it a fun page turner? Absolutely! Charlie Calloway is the wealthy daughter of Allistair Calloway who is a highly regarded real estate mogul in NYC. When Charlie was 7 years old her mother, Grace, left and never returned. Charlie is now attending the prestigious Knollwood Prep where a secret society of sorts called the A's have tagged her to become an initiate into this elite group. You are then presented tasks to complete by a certain time. If you don't complete your task you will be outed by the group in the most humiliating of ways and which will more than likely lead to your expulsion. That is how powerful this group is. They seem to have rank over everyone, students and staff alike. The thing is that no one knows who is part of the A's except the A's themselves. What happens in the group stays in the group. Period. Charlie has always questioned her mother's disappearance. Why would she leave her and her sister Seraphina? As she looks more into her mother's disappearance she is finding more clues that her mother may of been planning to leave her father and that there were cracks in their marriage. It also becomes known that her mother's high school sweetheart, who had tragically committed suicide, was friends with her father back in their days at Knollwood Prep. That's all I can say about the plot because I don't want to slip in any spoilers unintentionally. The ending - I LOVED IT! Just perfect! Just know that this is an easy, breezy book to get lost in on a warm summers day! Thank you to William Morrow for kindly sending me an ARC in exchange for my honest review! I have also won a copy of this in a Goodreads Giveaway, thank you Goodreads!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth is a young adult mystery that is told from multiple points of view and several timelines. Reading this one I had the thought that the author successfully made a book stew, she managed to combine a couple of mysteries and some drama into an interesting story. First we have seventeen year old Charlie Calloway who is a junior at the prestigious Knollwood and looking forward to joining Knollwood’s secret elite society, the As. Charlie is ready to pu All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth is a young adult mystery that is told from multiple points of view and several timelines. Reading this one I had the thought that the author successfully made a book stew, she managed to combine a couple of mysteries and some drama into an interesting story. First we have seventeen year old Charlie Calloway who is a junior at the prestigious Knollwood and looking forward to joining Knollwood’s secret elite society, the As. Charlie is ready to put her past behind her and step out of the shadow of her family name so when invited to join the high stakes scavenger hunt that begins the initiation into the As Charlie is excited to join the in crowd. Ten years before when Charlie was seven her mother had gone missing and even a decade later there were never any definite answers to what happened. Rumors still swirl that Charlie’s father had murdered Grace but evidence points to Grace having planned to leave the marriage and disappear. And then twenty years earlier there was another mystery that involved Charlie’s family. Her mother had been good friends with a boy named Jake who had attended Knollwood back then and had been said to commit suicide. Grace had never really believed of the suicide and blamed herself for not knowing what was going on with Jake. The story was very easy to follow along even as it changed the point of view and went back in time. Just as much as Charlie’s pledging to join the As was interesting and drama filled in the present time the mysteries of the past were just as compelling. This one became quite the page turner just waiting to see what would happen and how all the secrets and lies could be woven in together and be solved making a very enjoyable read. I received an advance copy from the publisher via Edelweiss. For more review please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ishmeen {hiatus}

    "No one can really understand the whole of a person. In many ways, the people I was closest to, the people who meant the most to me-were strangers. Beautiful strangers." 4.5 beautiful stars!! It’s honestly the best feeling ever when a book you were hesitant to start ends up in your favourites list and leaves you absolutely stunned. First of all, I would like to thank Penguin NZ for sending me a physical ARC of this book. And let me also tell you first up that I was not expecting to love th "No one can really understand the whole of a person. In many ways, the people I was closest to, the people who meant the most to me-were strangers. Beautiful strangers." 4.5 beautiful stars!! It’s honestly the best feeling ever when a book you were hesitant to start ends up in your favourites list and leaves you absolutely stunned. First of all, I would like to thank Penguin NZ for sending me a physical ARC of this book. And let me also tell you first up that I was not expecting to love this book. I don’t usually read mystery but I do enjoy YA contemporary and this seemed like a good mix which is why I was curious enough to give it a go. Another thing I was not expecting was to fall in love with these characters and invest my heart in their relationships so badly that their grief would literally show in my mood. I can’t believe that I am already looking forward to rereading the book again to experience those emotions again?? What has this book turned me into?? The MC, Charlie Calloway, was a joy to read about because honestly I have read about a lot of strong and badass women in fantasy but not so much outside of that genre so this was a great change! I loved reading about her journey and noticing the changes in her character from the choices and paths she chose to follow and I’m just SO proud of her for doing what she did in the end :’) Okay since I mentioned relationships before, let me clarify and say that they w r e c k e d me. I am still a mess reeling from all those feelings. I particularly enjoyed the first half of the book and I am glad I cherished all the build up because the second half just stole all my hopes and dreams and ripped them far apart :))) Once again, the flashbacks surprised me because I loved them so much!! It’s very unusual for me to like reading about the past since most of the time I end up finding it boring but I genuinely wanted to read about Grace and Alistair’s POV’s because their story was so heartbreaking and real and just so well written. Now that I think about it, one thing that I really liked about this story is that none of the characters are perfect. They are all messed up in their own way and have their own issues which to me is a reflection of our society today. Things almost never turn out to be as they appear to be from the surface and this story uncovers this harsh reality bit by bit as aspects from the past are revealed. There’s three different timelines that are involved which maintain the suspense as you make your way through the story, uncovering bits and pieces as you go and the result in the end was quite satisfying in my opinion. I would love to read more about these characters and I still have to come to terms with the fact that their story has ended. Now the question of why I didn’t rate this 5 stars which y’all might be wondering - as much as I loved this story and the surprises it brought me, I wouldn’t say I was shook by any of the plot twists and i usually save 5 star ratings for books that do have that effect on me. Regardless, I am definitely looking forward to reading more books by this author and hope to pick up more mystery books similar to this one!

  4. 4 out of 5

    bran (brandonthebookaddict)

    WELL THAT WAS UTTERLY AND IRREVOCABLY DISAPPOINTING. Let me just start off that if you like Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and the dramatic flair for the points of being hella extra..... .....then look no further folks because we got here the same run-of-the-mill mediocre and somewhat boring (mystery/drama) tale of a pretentious high school student uncovering the buried secrets of the past, all the while getting caught up in a tangle wood of lies and deceit in the present. Doesn't that sound lik WELL THAT WAS UTTERLY AND IRREVOCABLY DISAPPOINTING. Let me just start off that if you like Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and the dramatic flair for the points of being hella extra..... .....then look no further folks because we got here the same run-of-the-mill mediocre and somewhat boring (mystery/drama) tale of a pretentious high school student uncovering the buried secrets of the past, all the while getting caught up in a tangle wood of lies and deceit in the present. Doesn't that sound like a juicy fishhook of a TV show/movie you might find somewhere like on the CW or Lifetime?? Because literally hellllll nooooo. I'm over it already. So I legit thought this book was Adult but it wasn't; it's YA. And if y'all know me (chuckle, chuckle)... I LITERALLY DO NOT LIKE YA MYSTERY THRILLERS. Well, most of the time anyways. And 'thriller'??? Um nonexistent. Maybe that's just on me and its just marketed as mystery/suspense. Well whatever because that wasn't even the fault I had with the book; it was with the main character herself. Charlie Fairchild. And don't get me started on these names lmaooo. I.e.: montgomery, spencer, avery,....rich, spoiled, ass, *&!*[email protected]#. In short, I found Charlie to be extremely arrogant and ignorant. She was annoyed and rude to her 'friend' and found this so called 'friend' irritating because she wasn't some rich girl who wore the designer clothes and labels -- No, it was more like she was trying too hard because her parents couldn't afford the school so she's on a scholarship so what a try hard yada yada..... um excuse me, as someone who was on scholarships for the very same reason,....don't get me started. And the suicide jokes. Really? It's 2018. Not even that. It's just in poor taste and quality. But all things aside, was it the worst book I've ever read? Hell no. But to say in the least: somewhat overbearing and pretentious, this book does have an interesting aspect (unrealistic) of an anonymous club, full of hierarchy and power, and the corruption that runs with it. Not to mention the consequences. This book is choked full of them, in fact. 2 JUDGE JUDY STARS Arc provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to William Morrow for sending me an arc! Twitter | Bookstagram | Youtube |

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Dear All These Beautiful Strangers . . . . Not even kidding. This was exactly what I was hoping for when my friend Michelle’s Review popped up on my feed. I mean let’s face it, while I would looooooooooooove to be able to say I spend summer break like this . . . . . If I were every to vacay in the Hamptons I assume it would be more like this . . . . (Sidenote: I totally read a book that gave me a serious Grey Gardens vibe. Maybe one Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Dear All These Beautiful Strangers . . . . Not even kidding. This was exactly what I was hoping for when my friend Michelle’s Review popped up on my feed. I mean let’s face it, while I would looooooooooooove to be able to say I spend summer break like this . . . . . If I were every to vacay in the Hamptons I assume it would be more like this . . . . (Sidenote: I totally read a book that gave me a serious Grey Gardens vibe. Maybe one day I’ll get around to reviewing it. Sidenote 2: If you haven’t watched Documentary Now yet you should immediately log off and go do it . . . . and then send me Amazon gift cards as a thank you for introducing so much awesome into your life.) Okay where was I? Oh yeah, that I’m poor so my summertime fun actually is something like this . . . . All that being said - I want to ESCAPE when it comes to July reads. If that cover doesn’t sell you that you’re in for a YA beachy good time, I don’t know what will. I mean just look at it . . . . . Did you look at it???? Okay then. What better way to spend a summery timesuck than with a bunch of privileged white kids? AmIrightoramIright???? The story here focuses on Grace, a richie rich boarding school type of gal who has just received an invitation to begin the initiation process in order to become a member of a supersecret club known as The Skulls . . . . Whoops. I mean the A’s. Then you have a second storyline regarding Grace’s mother and Grace trying to figure out if she (a) ran away from home or (b) was murdered – dun dun dunnnnnnnnn! It’s only a matter of time before Grace starts to realize . . . . I’m pretty sure I need to go put my dinosaur back in his pen and finally check out Gossip Girl. I know I know . . . . . I am old and was still Twiharding superbad and missed all the gossipy good times. I shall rectify it post haste!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Selena

    I received a free copy of All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth from Goodreads for my honest review. Wonderful read, keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. Charlie Calloway has it all, a wonderful family, fantastic friends, money. Charlie finds out about a secret society at her school and is determined to get in it. Little does she know that the secrets are deeper than she can imagine. Charlie always wanted to know about her mother's disappearance and n I received a free copy of All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth from Goodreads for my honest review. Wonderful read, keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. Charlie Calloway has it all, a wonderful family, fantastic friends, money. Charlie finds out about a secret society at her school and is determined to get in it. Little does she know that the secrets are deeper than she can imagine. Charlie always wanted to know about her mother's disappearance and now she might just find out. The secrets that are uncovered about her family might destroy everything she is and knows.

  7. 3 out of 5

    Reading.Between.Wines

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 / 5 All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth will hook you from the very start and eat up ALL of your free time. What it's about: Charlie is 7 when her mother disappears from the family lake house never to be seen again. Now at age 17 Charlie is going to a prestigious boarding school called Knollwood Prep where there is an elite group of students called the "A's". The A's have chosen her to be an initiate to their secret club, but to be a part of it she must play a very serious g ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5 All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth will hook you from the very start and eat up ALL of your free time. What it's about: Charlie is 7 when her mother disappears from the family lake house never to be seen again. Now at age 17 Charlie is going to a prestigious boarding school called Knollwood Prep where there is an elite group of students called the "A's". The A's have chosen her to be an initiate to their secret club, but to be a part of it she must play a very serious game that will threaten everything. As if that wasn't enough, secrets of the past are coming to light and causing Charlie to wonder if her mom really did run off, or if something much worse is at play. This book was SO GOOD! I believe this is a young adult novel but I found myself forgetting that as I read. I also cannot believe it is a debut novel because it reads like this author has been in the game (of writing silly) for a very long time. I was fully engrossed in the story and had a hard time putting it down. This book is over 400 pages but I didn't even notice because the pages fly by so fast. All These Beautiful Strangers switches through a few different viewpoints and from past to present, but I think Charlie in present time was my favorite overall. I loved the boarding school setting and seeing her grow as a person throughout the book. There are some pretty unlikable characters but most were the type that you love to hate, and I saw enough growth in Charlie that she didn't end up bugging me as a character. It was actually quite fun reading from her POV and I adored the humor Klehfoth infuses into the novel. Plus, I think we can all agree that the cover of this novel is gorgeous. It screams summer to me and would make the perfect beach read (or all year round read since it's so dang good!). I loved the mystery aspect about Charlie's mom and there are quite a few twists and turns that I wasn't expecting. Final Thought: Overall I really loved All These Beautiful Strangers. There is a mystery, a dash of romance, secrets, drama, and so much more. The pace was on point and not once did I find this book dull or want to stop reading it. I thought it read more like adult fiction but maybe that's just me. Either way, I can tell that Klehfoth has a ton of talent and I can't wait to see what her next novel brings! Highly recommend this addicting, duplicitous novel.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maddie

    This felt like a very interesting YA/adult novel hybrid, with it's focus on both Charlie Calloway (in 2017) and her parents (in the 1990s). With Charlie's mother's disappearance, and the mysterious death of a boy on campus, there are more than a few secrets hidden by the Calloways, and as the book slowly unfolds, you get all the answers. The three POVs and different time periods means there's often dramatic irony in the relaying of information, so mostly I was waiting for Charlie to catch up on This felt like a very interesting YA/adult novel hybrid, with it's focus on both Charlie Calloway (in 2017) and her parents (in the 1990s). With Charlie's mother's disappearance, and the mysterious death of a boy on campus, there are more than a few secrets hidden by the Calloways, and as the book slowly unfolds, you get all the answers. The three POVs and different time periods means there's often dramatic irony in the relaying of information, so mostly I was waiting for Charlie to catch up on things I'd already read being admitted. There was a lot of elements to this book that I enjoyed, like the secret society at the boarding school (very Frankie Landau-Banks) and Charlie joining the school paper, but I think I would have liked it more if the story was more heavily weighted on Charlie being a detective, rather than just given information by uncles and friends of the family. Secondary characters swarmed this book, and I cared quite a lot for Drew and Grayson, but the focus on the parent storylines meant their prominence was weak. I did like that I couldn't put my finger on the romantic lead of the story though...everyone was either too non-committal or too detestable! All These Beautiful Strangers definitely read like it was written by a creative writing professor (which is accurate according to Klehfoth's bio) and that tone made it an interesting and stand-out read from other things on my shelf. Basically, if you wished that Gossip Girl was about the parent's generation, and that Pretty Little Liars had more 'getting to the point', then I'd really recommend this book!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Blair

    Charlie Calloway is a 17-year old with everything. She’s heir to a family fortune and attends an elite private school, Knollwood Augustus Prep. What’s more, she’s just been invited to join Knollwood’s most exclusive club, a secretive group known as the A’s. (Yes, that's how it’s punctuated in the book and yes, that bloody apostrophe took a few minutes off my life every time I had to look at it.) But Charlie is haunted by the disappearance, and possibly death, of her mother Grace ten years earlie Charlie Calloway is a 17-year old with everything. She’s heir to a family fortune and attends an elite private school, Knollwood Augustus Prep. What’s more, she’s just been invited to join Knollwood’s most exclusive club, a secretive group known as the A’s. (Yes, that's how it’s punctuated in the book and yes, that bloody apostrophe took a few minutes off my life every time I had to look at it.) But Charlie is haunted by the disappearance, and possibly death, of her mother Grace ten years earlier. All These Beautiful Strangers is the story of her quest to discover what really happened to Grace. The main narrative concentrates on Charlie’s days at Knollwood – the initiation rituals she must take part in to join the A’s; a tentative first romance; rivalries and alliances with other girls – while intermittent flashbacks take us into the history of the Calloways. We get to hear from Charlie’s father, Alistair, as well as the disappeared Grace. These chapters intrigued me most; I often felt I was wading through the Charlie storyline just to get to them. Once it became clear Alistair and Grace’s relationship barely resembled the rose-tinted tale they’d sold Charlie, I had to know what the real story was. I was interested to see that All These Beautiful Strangers is being marketed as adult fiction in the US and YA in the UK; by my reckoning, the latter is more accurate. While the adults have the more interesting story, the narrative is unfortunately heavy on the social mores of a bunch of rich, obnoxious teens who expect to get into top universities yet seem to take pride in being ignorant. It’s a funny mixture of Gossip Girl and something much more old-fashioned (see: the subplot in which Charlie is persuaded to sign up for the school newspaper and must co-author a story with a scrappy younger boy.) The blurb can mention The Secret History all it likes; Donna Tartt this ain’t. (I don’t know what Klehfoth has against Sylvia Plath – I can only conclude she was forced to study Ariel at some point and hated it, because there’s a weirdly large number of scenes in which characters either bitch about Plath’s poetry or flippantly dismiss it.) (Also, the character names in this book are utterly ridiculous. There are people called ‘Royce Dalton’ and ‘McKenna St Clare’ and ‘Brighton Maverick’. They're like when someone tries to make a neural network come up with new human names.) I didn’t believe in these people or their world for a second, but All These Beautiful Strangers was undeniably fun to read. Klehfoth really knows how to construct a twisty plot, how to fashion a cliffhanger that will have you turning the pages as fast as you can read them. It's ridiculous, and it’s also ridiculously enjoyable. I received an advance review copy of All These Beautiful Strangers from the publisher through Edelweiss. TinyLetter | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

  10. 5 out of 5

    NZLisaM

    This had everything I love in a YA mystery. The summer Charlie Calloway was seven years-old her mother, Grace, vanished without a trace from their lake house. Due to her luggage being missing, and a large cash withdrawal by her the day before she disappeared, it is believed Grace left of her own accord. Consequently, Charlie has grown up hating her mother for abandoning not only her, but her father and younger sister as well. Ten years on, she’s enjoying a privileged life at an elite boarding sch This had everything I love in a YA mystery. The summer Charlie Calloway was seven years-old her mother, Grace, vanished without a trace from their lake house. Due to her luggage being missing, and a large cash withdrawal by her the day before she disappeared, it is believed Grace left of her own accord. Consequently, Charlie has grown up hating her mother for abandoning not only her, but her father and younger sister as well. Ten years on, she’s enjoying a privileged life at an elite boarding school, and is beyond thrilled when she receives an invitation to join the A’s, an exclusive, secret, co-ed society, that rules the campus. Then, a stack of photos are found beneath the floorboards at the lake house, pictures of her along with her mother and sister, evidence they were being stalked. And written on the back of one are two words, ‘I Know’. What does the message mean? Who wrote it, and why? Charlie is determined to find out, and her actions set in motion a chain of events that is about to bring her perfect life crashing down. Cross Pretty Little Liars with Gossip Girl, throw in some Cruel Intentions, put an original, sophisticated spin on things and you have All These Beautiful Strangers. Then add not one, but two past mysteries to solve, both with ties to the Calloway family, and you have a sure-fire winner. Plus, I’m a sucker for books set at boarding school, and Elizabeth Klehfoth did a stellar job of bringing Knollwood Augustus Prep, and it’s faculty and students, to life. The mystery was a slow-burn, with enough creepy, ominous touches, to evoke that unsettled feeling within you while reading. Moments such as Grace enjoying a late night swim, with her two young daughters asleep inside, when the porch light goes out (it's not on an automatic timer). Or, Charlie on the edge of the school grounds, hearing footsteps behind her, able to see a kitchen light on in her dormitory, but not sure if she can make it there in time before the person behind her catches up to her. Also, the author came up with a couple of ingenious ways to move the mystery plot along, that out of all the mysteries I’ve read, I’ve never seen done before. There’s a large cast of characters so you’ll need to pay close attention, so plenty of suspects to choose from. It’s also a very character-driven, coming-of-age story. At first glance Charlie appears to be a spoiler, self-centred, rich kid, whose only agenda is her own. But it soon becomes clear that there is so much more to her than meets the eye, and I formed a real attachment to her. I actually got pretty emotional at the end, seeing how far she’d come from where she started. And there are other reasons I became emotional, but I’m not going to tell. It’s no secret that I’m an adult who’s a YA crime suspense fanatic, but even if you’re not, I still highly recommend this one – believe that there’s enough adult content to satisfy. Sure there’s a certain amount of teen speak, classes, dances, etc, but it’s not over-the-top. And, even though the majority of the story is told via Charlie (set in 2017), there are adult POV’s chapters as well, narrated by Grace, and Charlie’s father, Alistair Calloway (covering the period 1996-2007). To the teenage readers, read it now! I only have one question – when’s Elizabeth Klehfoth’s next book? Whoops, almost neglected to do a shout-out to the gorgeous, sparkly cover for the paperback edition. And ‘I Know’ is written along the pages as well – love it!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Iryna (Book and Sword)

    4.25/5 stars I am quite surprised that this books isn't talked about more, on Goodreads specifically. It is the epitome of a perfect summer read - I ate it up in one day (and this book isn't small - 448 pages). Also, I had no expectations whatsoever when I started reading it, so I think that contributed to me being very pleasantly surprised by this debut. The beginning of the book has very strong Pretty Little Liars vibes, but much, much better executed. However, as the book progressed I started 4.25/5 stars I am quite surprised that this books isn't talked about more, on Goodreads specifically. It is the epitome of a perfect summer read - I ate it up in one day (and this book isn't small - 448 pages). Also, I had no expectations whatsoever when I started reading it, so I think that contributed to me being very pleasantly surprised by this debut. The beginning of the book has very strong Pretty Little Liars vibes, but much, much better executed. However, as the book progressed I started comparing it to The Secret Garden by Kate Morton (which I recently also read). The comparison is due to the story branching out through two generations- past and present colliding, and that is something Morton does in her every book. But, while The Secret Garden almost put me to sleep, All These Beautiful Strangers hooked me and didn't let go till the very end. Mostly, we follow the story through Charlie in the present day, but we also get glimpses into the past from her parents' points of view. The overlapping was done really well, and the story flow felt very natural. And if I put you off by comparing this to Pretty Little Liars, don't worry All These Beautiful Strangers is far superior to PLL in every sense - structural, grammatical and just in general the writing is quite good. Charlie is a great main character to follow around - she doesn't pull her punches, she says what she thinks and never takes it back. Sure, she might be a bit antisocial, but I was actually able to relate to that. The story is set in a prestige boarding school, but despite that it wasn't tacky in a way college novels can be. ​By the end it did get pretty intense and I loved it! The book that makes me feel things (and I felt scared for the character) is a book worth reading my opinion! All These Beautiful Strangers is a perfect summer read, and as far as young adult mystery books go - this one is one of the best I've read so far. Big thanks to the publisher, William Morrow, for providing an advanced reader copy for a review. All opinions are my own, honest and come from the heart. ________________________________________ Who doesn't love a surprise ARC in the mail? My WEBSITE My INSTAGRAM My WORDPRESS BLOG

  12. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I really enjoyed All These Beautiful Strangers! I was immediately hooked by the prologue, and looked forward to finding out what the mystery was. Part of this book is set at a boarding school, and part of it is set at a family lakehouse. I loved both settings. They were tense, intriguing, and it was very easy to get lost in the story. There's also a secret society, which is such a fun aspect of the story. All These Beautiful Strangers has a lot of mysterious flashbacks, and I liked figuring out I really enjoyed All These Beautiful Strangers! I was immediately hooked by the prologue, and looked forward to finding out what the mystery was. Part of this book is set at a boarding school, and part of it is set at a family lakehouse. I loved both settings. They were tense, intriguing, and it was very easy to get lost in the story. There's also a secret society, which is such a fun aspect of the story. All These Beautiful Strangers has a lot of mysterious flashbacks, and I liked figuring out the mystery as the story went on (I did not solve it before the final reveal, so that's good). This book may sound like it has a YA storyline, but it's told with an adult voice. I really loved it, and I'm so glad that I was able to receive a review copy. If you're a fan of Gossip Girl or Pretty Little Liars, but want something a little different, pick this one up!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    3.5/5 I have a rocky relationship with YA mystery/thrillers, I actually quit reading them over a year ago because I found the ones I picked up to be predictable and not suitable for an avid reader of thrillers like myself. But as soon as I saw the cover of this I did a double take, it’s stunning! Then I read the description and got a Gossip Girl meets The Skulls vibe so I said, to hell with my self imposed YA thriller ban and added it to my TBR. I’m SO glad that I did, while this most assuredly i 3.5/5 I have a rocky relationship with YA mystery/thrillers, I actually quit reading them over a year ago because I found the ones I picked up to be predictable and not suitable for an avid reader of thrillers like myself. But as soon as I saw the cover of this I did a double take, it’s stunning! Then I read the description and got a Gossip Girl meets The Skulls vibe so I said, to hell with my self imposed YA thriller ban and added it to my TBR. I’m SO glad that I did, while this most assuredly is a YA novel it had enough depth and maturity to satisfy me and made for the ideal light summer mystery. This flips between 2017 as Charlie begins her junior year at a prestigious prep school and then goes back in time to the mid nineties and you hear from both her mom and dad as they meet and get married. This was easy to follow along with, all the chapters are labeled clearly and each character had a distinct voice of their own, no confusion to be found. The whole elite, secret society at a boarding school has been done before but the author still managed to keep me engaged as Charlie had to complete a hazing of sorts to be granted admittance to the A’s. At the same time she is starting to look into her moms disappearance and finds out some things about her family that are shocking and disappointing. There was plenty of intrigue surrounding her moms disappearance to keep me interested, dark and long buried secrets and old feuds that Charlie knows nothing about along with a fairly tense current plot about her initiation. It’s also chock full of the type of characters I love to hate, always a bonus for me. While there is nothing groundbreaking here Klehfoth was a talented enough writer that I was completely wrapped up in the dark history of the Calloway family and it felt like an ultimate guilty pleasure read. I may have figured out a few things before they were revealed but in the end I wasn’t totally right and I had a whole lot of fun along the way, and if I’m entertained when I’m reading I’ll always call that a win! All These Beautiful Strangers in three words: Manipulative, Dramatic and Polished.

  14. 3 out of 5

    Gare Billings

    ALL THESE BEAUTIFUL STRANGERS is a paragon of the perfect summer read. Klehfoth has a voice that dazzles, intrigues, and intimidates. Her writing is razor-sharp and sensational. The plot to this novel is spectacular and inviting. Combine that with dangerously well-written characters, a gorgeous setting, and a novel that teeters on the brink of different genres and you have one hell of a winner in my eyes. This novel is like Cruel Intentions meets Pretty Little Liars meets Gillian Flynn. I absolut ALL THESE BEAUTIFUL STRANGERS is a paragon of the perfect summer read. Klehfoth has a voice that dazzles, intrigues, and intimidates. Her writing is razor-sharp and sensational. The plot to this novel is spectacular and inviting. Combine that with dangerously well-written characters, a gorgeous setting, and a novel that teeters on the brink of different genres and you have one hell of a winner in my eyes. This novel is like Cruel Intentions meets Pretty Little Liars meets Gillian Flynn. I absolutely loved the back and forth between different family members of the Calloway family and how the storylines (twenty years apart) blended together so smoothly as this read continued. Similar to the writing style of Flynn, Klehfoth's characters were mostly unlikeable and not to be trusted - just how I like them. I loved every aspect of this storyline. It has drama, a bit of comedy, and a gorgeous cold case mystery. Not only that, but the boarding school setting just adds so much to this novel, then you have the glitz of the city, the ominous setting in a house by the sea...I mean, come on; this novel was meant to be devoured piece by piece. And did I ever. I loved the characters in this novel. They were ruthless, genius, and terrifyingly entertaining. I loved how Charlie Calloway wasn't your cookie-cutter sweetheart who hasn't done a thing wrong her entire life. She was strong, unapologetic, and imperfectly lovable all at the same time. Bravo to Klehfoth for not writing a female protagonist that requires saving, a shoulder to cry on, or assistance in getting to the bottom of this multi-layered novel. My only downfall was that throughout the novel between Charlie's classmates, friends, family, and friends of the family, it was hard to keep track of all of the characters between her perspective and other characters perspectives as well. Granted, Klehfoth does a great job of weeding out the ones that are mention-only by the second part, but it was a little intimidating at first. I cannot say enough great things about this novel. I was completely immersed and this is easily one of the most enjoyable reads I have had in my hands in a long time. Thank you so much to Elizabeth Klehfoth for combining so many beautiful things in a book that I love and cramming it into a 400+ novel that has not one word wasted throughout. Special thanks to William Morrow for my copy in exchange for my honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)

    Originally posted on A Frolic Through Fiction *Rated 3.5/5 stars Don’t let the rainbow cover deceive you; this book is far from the happy-go-lucky story you might expect. Following Charlie Calloway in her Junior year at high school, things gradually begin to turn serious as she’s offered the chance to join secret – though dangerous – exclusive society, dubbing her as one of the elite. When things turn darker and a family secret is unexpectedly involved, the mystery needs to unravel for Charlie to Originally posted on A Frolic Through Fiction *Rated 3.5/5 stars Don’t let the rainbow cover deceive you; this book is far from the happy-go-lucky story you might expect. Following Charlie Calloway in her Junior year at high school, things gradually begin to turn serious as she’s offered the chance to join secret – though dangerous – exclusive society, dubbing her as one of the elite. When things turn darker and a family secret is unexpectedly involved, the mystery needs to unravel for Charlie to know where she stands. What caught me straight away was how this isn’t just Charlie’s story. The perspectives switch between her and her parents, something I’ve not seen done before. And when there’s a family mystery at stake, it only serves to build up tension as different sides of the story overtake each other, until they eventually fit. Initially, I wasn’t the hugest fan of her parent’s perspectives, but as things became more twisted and confused I couldn’t help turning the pages to discover how the two stories linked. It was such a quick read considering its size, and it was while reading this that it dawned on me…I like reading about ridiculously rich people. It’s a guilty pleasure, almost. But catch me reading a book about frivolous people living extravagant lifestyles, throwing money any way they wish and manipulating power relations in society…well, apparently I dig that. I fly through the pages. So reading about Knollwood, its students, the families they come from and the society they live in proved to be entertaining for me at least. There’s something weirdly addictive about seeing such a world, the problems and lifestyles being vastly different from my own. That being said, the actual mystery aspect of it wasn’t as addictive as I thought it might be. I kind of had an idea about who had done what, and the pace wasn’t quite fast enough consequence-wise for me to NEED to pick it up again to find out what happened. The urgency wasn’t there. Especially because there’s this huge focus on the A’s, a secret society who manipulate everything in their power to get things their way and don’t take kindly to any threat of discovery. It didn’t really feel particularly threatening, because any consequences that could have come as a result of being either part of the A’s or on the wrong side of them was just kind of…mentioned. And then things moved on. I didn’t feel any lasting impression. And so the A’s just remained a notorious story rather than something tangible, something to be feared. The perspectives swapped around too much for me to become attached to any of the characters, but I feel like this almost helped the story. It enhanced the elusiveness of the mystery and distance broached between social classes, making it feel almost like reading a case file or watching one of those crime story documentaries. Which might sound bad, but I actually didn’t mind it. The only thing it meant was I wasn’t on board with any of the “romance” elements, but to be honest I’d hardly even call it that. There was a weird dynamic with literally everyone in this school. So it was quite a mixed bag, really. A quick read for its size but not urgent enough for me to adore as a mystery/thriller, it did prove to be an entertaining read and perfect in my busy schedule. I’m not one for usually picking up books like this so it could just be down to that, but I’ll certainly be more likely to try this genre now at least. *Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book. This in no way affects my opinion.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    *4.5 stars ✨ Thank you to Goodreads for a copy in exchange for an honest review. I loved this book. Charlotte is at a boarding school trying to get accepted into the elite group at her campus. At the same time her Uncle reappears to dig up her mother’s disappearance. Charlotte, at first, wants nothing to do with it because her mother left her and her sister. Right? But soon she can’t help it and starts to investigate. Loved the story and the mystery surrounding her mother. Told through Charlotte’ *4.5 stars ✨ Thank you to Goodreads for a copy in exchange for an honest review. I loved this book. Charlotte is at a boarding school trying to get accepted into the elite group at her campus. At the same time her Uncle reappears to dig up her mother’s disappearance. Charlotte, at first, wants nothing to do with it because her mother left her and her sister. Right? But soon she can’t help it and starts to investigate. Loved the story and the mystery surrounding her mother. Told through Charlotte’s POV and flashbacks to her mother and father, & the day everything happened.

  17. 3 out of 5

    Farhina ↯↯ The Wanderer Of Inked Adventures

    So this boook is deemed Gossip Girl Meets Pretty Little Liars. Eh let’s break this down. This is a mixture of a lot of idea’s that are already done; A pretty dramatic elite people school, a secret club and oh a mystery. Charlie was a very weird MC. She was mostly like a robot with weird emotions tbh. I didn’t get her. And after being so weird she than goes and forgives a boy who did her pretty wrong like how?! I hate girls like that! 🙄 The story is set around a privileged high school where Charlie So this boook is deemed Gossip Girl Meets Pretty Little Liars. Eh let’s break this down. This is a mixture of a lot of idea’s that are already done; A pretty dramatic elite people school, a secret club and oh a mystery. Charlie was a very weird MC. She was mostly like a robot with weird emotions tbh. I didn’t get her. And after being so weird she than goes and forgives a boy who did her pretty wrong like how?! I hate girls like that! 🙄 The story is set around a privileged high school where Charlie studies, a very secret clubs called the A’s and the mystery of where Charlie’s mother went (who disappeared when she was little). The story is pretty dramatic, very PLL and Gossip Girl style. The initiation to get into the secret club are wild as heck!!!! And shady weird! And the whole mystery of her mother and how it’s intertwined with her boarding school was like so pretty convenient to me. The story was very easy flowing and was done in past/present styles, with flash backs to Pov’s from Charlie’s mother’, father and herself just to give the sense of what happened in the past. Overall, this book is ah was a nice to read but it was very dramatic, had mean high schooler characters and the whole plot was juvenile. The villain was so dodgy, and how in all these years they failed to get rid of evidence huhuhuhuhuhuhuh?!?!?!? So illogical. It was heavily built around suicide and deaths too. So beware of that too. Also all the teenage characters are so unrealistic, rich mean-os and very evil. I mean how.. Anyway on the whole it was fine a very passable pretentious high school drama book for me. 2.5 ✨ Thank you penguin platform for my arc. My Blog | Instagram | Twitter | -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Oh well this was interesting!!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    DNF @ 12%. Nothing particularly bad about this, but it feels like a book trying to imitate successful thrillers and only half succeeding. It feels distinctively less sophisticated than the adult thrillers I've read recently, but since this is a debut, I think the writing has good qualities that could be built upon in future books. I definitely see the Gossip Girl comparison. I hate that show, but if you like it you may have better luck with this book. Recommended if you enjoy YA thrillers.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ellie (faerieontheshelf)

    ↠ 4 stars Buddy read with Imi I’ve said this before when reviewing similar books, but I’ll rehash it again: I love posh boarding school stories. I love thrillers and mysteries set in boarding schools. I love books about people with a lot of money who aren’t necessarily the best people. All These Beautiful Strangers features a lot of these tropes, so it’s not entirely surprising that I loved it. It’s a surprisingly solid book, just over 500 pages, but it is paced well and is compulsively readable. ↠ 4 stars Buddy read with Imi I’ve said this before when reviewing similar books, but I’ll rehash it again: I love posh boarding school stories. I love thrillers and mysteries set in boarding schools. I love books about people with a lot of money who aren’t necessarily the best people. All These Beautiful Strangers features a lot of these tropes, so it’s not entirely surprising that I loved it. It’s a surprisingly solid book, just over 500 pages, but it is paced well and is compulsively readable. All These Beautiful Strangers, from the blurb, seems like a single-strand mystery narrative that follows the heroine Charlie as she tries to discover what happened to her mother, but the novel is actually more intricate than that. It skips between the present day, 2007 and then the 1990s, and actually has three narrators: Charlie Calloway (the heroine); Grace Calloway (Charlie’s missing mother); and Alistair Calloway (Charlie’s real-estate mogul father). The novel follows Charlie investigating her mother’s disappearance, but it also follows Grace from the moment she met Alistair to the moment she disappeared. There was a lot of interweaving, and I was rather impressed by the way the novel was consistently executed despite the time shifts and narrative changes. Readers were aided in their attempt to build a picture of the mystery by being given the knowledge of all 3 POVs, and I began linking it all together and making assumptions about fifty percent in, but I didn’t click onto the whole picture till almost at the end, which is exactly how it should be. In these three narratives, Charlie’s narrative was central, of course, but I also found myself very interested by Grace and Alistair’s chapters, from the initial relationship and then slow degradation of their marriage. It showed how a misunderstanding could spiral so wildly out of control, and how secrets could come back to bite. This novel also has a somewhat large cast, but not overwhelmingly so. I enjoyed Charlie as a main character; her narrative voice was quite calm and rational, and though she did mess up once or twice and could’ve handled some situations better, she came through in the end. I also really loved Greyson’s character as the male best friend, and admittedly I did ship him more with Charlie than I shipped Charlie with Dalton, the “love interest”. Now, this story had two major facets: the disappearance of Charlie’s mother, and the secret society of the A’s. And honestly, the A’s didn’t impress me much, and I still don’t think they were entirely fleshed out as well as they could be. They seemed just like a side part of the story, and I think that could’ve been structured better. They needed a little more lore so they felt more like a secret society i.e. Why were they called A’s? With the exception of the A’s, I didn’t have any other problems with the novel. It was a good read, quickly read and perfect for what I wanted to read, and I enjoyed it greatly. TL;DR: A perfect summer read that’s quickly read and easily devoured. I received a copy in exchange for an honest review This review is also available on my blog

  20. 5 out of 5

    MaryBeth's Bookshelf

    I listened to the audio version of this book and really enjoyed. Charlie Calloway is a Junior at a prestigious prep school. Years ago, her mother Grace Calloway disappeared. As Charlie navigates her school year struggles, her quest to become a member of the exclusive "A's" group, and unravel the mystery around her mother's disappearance, she unearths secrets that threaten to destroy everything she believed to be true. I loved the narrators of this book and I loved how it was told from differing p I listened to the audio version of this book and really enjoyed. Charlie Calloway is a Junior at a prestigious prep school. Years ago, her mother Grace Calloway disappeared. As Charlie navigates her school year struggles, her quest to become a member of the exclusive "A's" group, and unravel the mystery around her mother's disappearance, she unearths secrets that threaten to destroy everything she believed to be true. I loved the narrators of this book and I loved how it was told from differing perspectives - Charlie and her parents, Grace and Allistair. I did find some of the prep school antics and attitudes a little tedious, but it was a great book that I could not put down.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)

    I love it when a debut novel, especially one in the YA thriller category (which is starting to boom these days), really sucks me in. Admittedly, this did run a little slow at the beginning, but then around 100 pages or so in, I didn't want to put this one down. Like most YA thrillers I've read, this is just fun and entertaining. As discussed with my fellow Bookstagrammer, Amy, it definitely has Gossip Girl/Skulls vibe and these are guilty pleasures for me, so how could I NOT like this?! I'm alway I love it when a debut novel, especially one in the YA thriller category (which is starting to boom these days), really sucks me in. Admittedly, this did run a little slow at the beginning, but then around 100 pages or so in, I didn't want to put this one down. Like most YA thrillers I've read, this is just fun and entertaining. As discussed with my fellow Bookstagrammer, Amy, it definitely has Gossip Girl/Skulls vibe and these are guilty pleasures for me, so how could I NOT like this?! I'm always fascinated with boarding schools - I went to a community college and commuted so I never really got that dorm room life and feel like I missed out on something at some point. However, in reading about them, they're almost full of drama and cliquish mannerisms as this book also relays - so maybe I didn't really miss out on much! I did like Charlie's character. We've all done some sketchy things as teenagers - especially when wanting to be a part of the IN crowd (which almost always is indulgent in egotism, bullying and atrocious behavior - at least in books, right?). It's how we come out of these incidents and what we learn from them that make our character at the end. (No pun intended). I will say that I was more fascinated with Grace's storyline and wanted a LOT more of that. As Klehfoth brings everything together, I wasn't necessarily surprised with the outcome but I was impressed with how cleanly she pulled it all together. It didn't feel rushed or mashed up like I've found a few books as of late. I especially find this so impressive with debut novels. I will definitely be looking for more from this author. This is a genre I'm falling in love with quickly. Thank you to William Morrow for this copy!

  22. 3 out of 5

    Leslie Ann

    One of my new all time favorites! It read more like general fiction than thriller, but I absolutely LOVED it!!!!

  23. 3 out of 5

    SJ Reads

    My favourite parts -Charlie the MC -The undertones and messages -The plot twists This was a super fun YA mystery. It’s the kind of book I’d recommend to those new to the genre. Personally, I didn’t fall in love with this one, but it did surprise me with its twists and turns. The ending also had some beautiful messages that are really important for the younger generations.

  24. 3 out of 5

    Jessica

    Thanks to William Morrow for the free copy in exchange for my honest review! When I had read the synopsis for this one, it definitely piqued my interest. I have seen it compared to PRETTY LITTLE LIARS and GOSSIP GIRL (both of which I haven’t read or seen…I know, I know I definitely need to remedy that). I have seen this one being categorized as a Young Adult novel, but to me it didn’t read like one. This is a solid debut and I’m excited to see what she comes out with next! The prologue definitely Thanks to William Morrow for the free copy in exchange for my honest review! When I had read the synopsis for this one, it definitely piqued my interest. I have seen it compared to PRETTY LITTLE LIARS and GOSSIP GIRL (both of which I haven’t read or seen…I know, I know I definitely need to remedy that). I have seen this one being categorized as a Young Adult novel, but to me it didn’t read like one. This is a solid debut and I’m excited to see what she comes out with next! The prologue definitely caught my attention and then I found myself getting sucked into the characters. Years ago, the young wife of a successful real estate mogul, Allister Calloway, disappeared from the family’s home without a trace. Her daughter, Charlie, was a child at the time and was left with so many unanswered questions. A decade later, Charlie is determined to move on from her complicated past and focuses on school. She is quickly recruited by the elite school’s secret society, the A’s. What they refer to as The Game added a level of drama to the story and I really enjoyed seeing where that would go. There are so many secrets that were so expertly woven together throughout the story! We go from different perspectives and timelines without getting lost. Present day with Charlie, in the past with Grace (her mother) and another mystery surrounding a classmate’s apparent suicide. There is plenty to go around in ALL THESE BEAUTIFUL STRANGERS to keep you flipping those pages! I give this 4/5 stars!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stacey (prettybooks)

    All These Beautiful Strangers was recommended by one of my good friends, Bella, who knew that I enjoyed boarding schools, secret societies, and a lot of mystery. Charlie Calloway is immensely privileged. She's rich, has a close family, a loyal set of friends and achieved top grades at her fancy boarding school. She's always been taught that she's different; special, better, so when an exclusive secret society – the A's – sends her an invitation to join the club, there's no question that she shou All These Beautiful Strangers was recommended by one of my good friends, Bella, who knew that I enjoyed boarding schools, secret societies, and a lot of mystery. Charlie Calloway is immensely privileged. She's rich, has a close family, a loyal set of friends and achieved top grades at her fancy boarding school. She's always been taught that she's different; special, better, so when an exclusive secret society – the A's – sends her an invitation to join the club, there's no question that she should join. But Charlie quickly finds herself at the heart of a decades-old mystery involving a terrible family crime: what does her mother's disappearance have to do with the A's? And is Charlie willing to risk her membership to find out? Continue reading this review over on Pretty Books. Thank you to the publisher for providing this book for review!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess

    Review to come.

  27. 3 out of 5

    ♚sari♚

    wowowowowowow RTC one day when I'm done freaking out

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lauren James

    S.T.A.G.S meets The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks in this high society thriller. Joining a secret society at her upper class boarding school leads Charlie to discover old family secrets that were better left at peace.

  29. 3 out of 5

    Norrie

    Love a mystery with teenage drama? Did someone say a decade old mystery? Well, if they were talking about All These Beautiful Strangers, then they sure did! But there’s a lot more going on here than just a girl trying to find out what happened to her mum ten years ago. In fact, in the beginning she doesn’t actually give a toss about that, considering everyone in the Calloway family is under the impression that Charlie’s mum just simply took off one night. Charlie is of course pissed off about bein Love a mystery with teenage drama? Did someone say a decade old mystery? Well, if they were talking about All These Beautiful Strangers, then they sure did! But there’s a lot more going on here than just a girl trying to find out what happened to her mum ten years ago. In fact, in the beginning she doesn’t actually give a toss about that, considering everyone in the Calloway family is under the impression that Charlie’s mum just simply took off one night. Charlie is of course pissed off about being abandoned. Who wouldn’t be? She doesn’t have too much time to worry about this though, because she receives an invite to join Knollwood Prep’s secret society, the A’s. The A’s are The Shit in this posh high school, and every wannabe cool kid dreams about being a member. In my opinion they are just a bunch of assholes, who create chaos and destruction for basically no reason. They are not promoting anything, they are not doing it to create awareness, they are just a group of entitled teenagers who think they should be allowed to do anything they fancy just because they can. Why Charlie wants to join? Well, because they are cool… no? No idea. During the initiation process they recruits get humiliated, perform illegal heists, and have to swear secrecy, or else their dirty secrets will be exposed. They also get expelled if caught. Sounds lovely. On top of this Charlie’s uncle is back, and he insists that her mum, Grace didn’t just disappear and he has evidence. After meeting her mum’s side of the family, Charlie takes it up on herself to dig into the mystery with the help of Greyson, the son of Grace’s best friend. Greyson is sort of hot, brooding and has the tendency to sneak into Charlie’s dorm unannounced, which really is kind of a problem, since Grace is also hooking up with one of the member of the A’s. It’s not quite a love triangle though, so all is well. So as she starts unraveling the mystery, her suspicion grows. There’s probably more to her mum’s disappearance than meets the eye. When she and Greyson stumble upon yet another deadly secret related to Grace, they go into full detective mode. This is certainly a fast paced and quite entertaining mystery, but I didn’t particularly like Charlie. Her reflections on most of the scenarios were rather odd. The timeline shifted between the present and the past, and I much more enjoyed the chapters told by Grace from the past. There were some twists and turns that were just damn delicious, but I’m always kind of skeptical when it comes to amateur investigators. I was pretty satisfied with the ending, but I’m not sure how the real detectives actually pulled the whole thing off after our self appointed detectives messed around with all the evidence. I do love the author’s writing style, so I think I’ll be looking out for her next book.

  30. 3 out of 5

    Saarah Niña

    More than a mystery This book is not average. It's different. It doesn't try to win you by having likeable characters or, by making you think about more than what is on the page. Nor, by being an original voice. And, that's okay. The story is enough, more than enough and there's nothing to distract you from it. At first, it's told with clarity. Charlie is a Calloway. Her family name is a brand, she's innocently privileged by association. And, with great certainty and pride, she wouldn't have it an More than a mystery This book is not average. It's different. It doesn't try to win you by having likeable characters or, by making you think about more than what is on the page. Nor, by being an original voice. And, that's okay. The story is enough, more than enough and there's nothing to distract you from it. At first, it's told with clarity. Charlie is a Calloway. Her family name is a brand, she's innocently privileged by association. And, with great certainty and pride, she wouldn't have it any other other way. The Calloways are of the elites, but getting to the top comes with a price and no family is without its secrets... Charlie's mother left the world of privilege behind, she left Charlie. Charlie, who claims she's over it, has always thought about her mother's reasons. But more so, when she sees some compromising photographs from her family's past. She refuses to settle for anything but the truth. That is her way. But soon, Charlie has more questions than answers: whose truth is she telling? The story is an engaging one. It reminded me of a book I read some time ago, Tradition by Brendan Kiely. Like Tradition, the story is set in a prestigious college, seeped in fictional history. Both writers describe a subculture of patriarchy, traditions, privilege. Elizabeth Klehfoth's characters were unapologetically self absorbed and arrogant (but, conscious of it). I didn't like that they were so stubbornly unrepentant but, anything otherwise would not been as plausible. Though, naturally, there was more to the story than their unlikeability. My only gripe was that even by the end, (and what a surprising ending that was) Charlie never realises the true nature of her parents' relationship. Her father never fully confesses so if, ever, she forgives him, it wouldn't be completely meaningful. She believes she knows the full truth. Maybe some secrets are better kept unshared, but it felt unlikely that the ever-persistent Charlie would overlook this. I know I said the writing wasn't exactly original, I did nonetheless find the style remarkable. Elizabeth Klehfoth writes mystery incredibly. She drip-feeds you the facts, excruciatingly slowly as if she were waiting to gauge your reaction. She distracts you with other smaller narratives, but ultimately builds this tense atmosphere and a world that you come to know well. The plot, very much, thickens. The characters surprise you, in their true to life unpredictable ways. Will they or won't they? You'll have to read it, there's no room for guessing. I was also reminded of Gossip Girl. I can't say much on the similarities as I only ever watched the first few episodes before giving up on it. But with confidence, I can say that the college society where competition is encouraged, cliques are founded, identities are forged, was integral to this storyline too. The special and exclusive group of 'As' , students banding together to make their own rules and ensure their own brand of justice was enacted and imposed, was described well. The members had all the characteristics of an in-group mentality. It was interesting to see it play out. I received this book through Netgalley.

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