As one of the most hype-worthy books of 2021, I jumped at the chance to review it. I'd seen so many glowing reviews on social media that it has to be good, right? Nah. I've learned my lesson long ago that hyped books CAN be bad-at least for me. This wasn't a bad book at all. It had a stellar cast of characters, a cool setting, and lots of queer and diverse reps. I know why people love it. The execution just didn't work for me.
This was supposed to be a thriller but I didn't feel thrilled. The text messages from Ace didn't garner the reactions I expected from the characters. I wasn't feeling the tension or the fear for these protagonists. Text messages without any other action on the antagonist's part felt convoluted. OK, we got someone trying to blackmail these two kids but they don't go anywhere for help. not the police, not to adults, to nobody. We mix in these backstories that didn't make sense. A fake car accident? Someone losing their memory? It was weird. It felt such a long game that an entire group of people were playing? This may have been due to the writing and lack of...emotion from the characters? It fel choppy and flat and brought me out of the story.
The ending was lackluster and left me feeling nothing. I sort of guessed the twist so maybe that's why? I don't know. I guess I was waiting for something really awesome to happen. Plot holes that never got explained and happenings that just didn't make sense. Things weren't tied up the way they should have been and it felt overall....silly.
I'm sad that I didn't like it. The plot was exciting and promised a take-down of a racist school, but it fell flat.