*** I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. ***
Book: Not Like Everyone Else
Author: Jennifer Leigh
Self Published on June 15, 2018
Genre(s): mystery, thriller, contemporary, mental-health, fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Plot: (from Goodreads) Ryan can’t seem to get her memories in order. When she breaks it off with her long-term boyfriend, Corey, she can’t help but feel free. But mysterious events keep Ryan asking “just what happened?” After her family moved to Ryton, after Carter goes missing, after Jacob is in the hospital. All of these afters, but Ryan can’t remember the befores. With Harper and Elliot by her side, Ryan can only hope that she does not forget… again. Will Ryan be able to recover her memory to figure out what happened when it all went dark?
“What? It’s over!?! What?”
– Literally, my words as I stared at the last line of this book.
I seriously did not see that ending coming. I’m not sure that anyone could have. This book was so intense! I read the first chapter on the night I received it just to ensure that I would like to read it before I offered a timeline to the author. But then I COULDN’T STOP READING. Right away the plot draws you in with mystery and intrigue. The pages kept flying by, the twists and turns kept me guessing, and I can’t believe how much I enjoyed the fast paced-read.
After getting out of a rough relationship, Ryan is forced to move back in with her parents, something she isn’t thrilled about. In order to survive this adjustment, she makes quick friends with an old classmate, Harper, who remained in the area after high school. A weekend getaway with Harper seemed to be the perfect solution; however, it brings with it an entire host of more problems. One of the friends that was staying with them disappeared, and Ryan was the last person to see him.
As the story progresses (and due to circumstances I can’t share), her parents reveal that she suffers from dissociative amnesia, which leaves her unable to remember the details of Carter’s disappearance. Her inability to remember that night, leaves her questioning what exactly did she do to Carter. Ryan’s fears grow as someone attempts to frame her.
Overall, this book was really interesting. It’s told from Ryan’s perspective which really helps readers understand her struggle with her memory and the frustration she feels when she doesn’t have the answers everyone wants. Throughout the chapters, there are snippets of thought trailing from an unidentified character (until late in the book, anyway) who admits to murdering in the woods where Carter disappeared. These snippets freaked me out more than what was happening to Ryan because they were so dark and creepy. After reading its thoughts, you’ll want to check over your shoulder, just in case. Even though they’re creepy, those little thought chunks will have you turning pages until you discover their identity. And it’s one you will never see coming.
One of the biggest problems I had with the story what the InstaLove vibe, I’m just not a big fan. Before that everything was pretty great. Break up, wait a month before looking at a guy, chatted on Elliot for a few weeks before they started going out, but then it just gets rushed. She “loves” him the third day they’ve been dating? Just a little too fast for my comfort zone. But definitely not the worst InstaLove I’ve read. Semi-believable. Together Ryan and Elliot make a mega-cute couple as long as you get over the InstaLove. Elliot is super protective and Ryan uses him to focus and calm down. Adorable.
Additionally, I think some of the characters were underdeveloped. It was a really face-paced book, and in order to do that sometimes you lose out on the little details of a person. However, almost every character aside from Ryan was a bit mysterious (and even Ryan had a few of those moments). I did read this book really fast, so maybe I missed some of the details, but I believe they all could’ve benefited from a little more of the specifics.
I thought this book was very well written, as soon as I started reading the pages just kept turning themselves. I was completely immersed in another world, in Ryan’s world. It’s really heavy on the dialogue and I loved that. It’s different from some of the books I’ve been reading lately and it really helped keep the pace up on the book. The addition of the creeps thoughts kept me guessing the entire book, I would never have guessed who it turned out to be in a million years.
I gave this book 4 stars because the writing was amazing and I honestly could not stop reading. I think this would be an amazing “curl up with a hot drink on Halloween” book. It’s got so much creep and mystery to it! I would not recommend the book for YA readers under 16 because it is a little mature, but I think people from all walks of life would really enjoy this one.
Have you read this book? Do you agree or disagree with my opinions? Are you going to read this book?