Some books are a perfect mix of murder mysteries, love interests and teenagers. This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston is one of those books: it has all the right elements in just the right dose. Centering around the death of a boy from a private school, the plot twists in unexpected places AND ways.
The plot (twist!)
At first, the story is captivating enough to keep me going, but not enough to keep me on the edge of the seat. The death of Grant is a shock to Kate and she is desperate to put the perpetrator to justice, but the story feels flat. Almost like one element is missing. Until suddenly, BAM! Plot twist! From that moment it has the same I-forgot-that-I-have-other-things-to-do-than-read-effect as classic YA series like The Hunger Games and Twilight.
Kate Marino works as an intern for the DA’s office when a drama takes place at River Point: five private school boys go hunting, only four return. Nobody talks and it is up to Kate and her boss to find out what really happened in the woods.
The reader’s inner teenager pops out and takes over, completely engulfing theirselves in the world that is created by Elston. How powerful that first love is, how mean teenagers can be, everything that was awesome about being in high school: our inner teenager eats it up. Ofcourse, this goes for a lot of YA books and not specifically This Is Our Story, but with this book it is hard to see it coming until it hits you in the (teenage) face.
One thing that keeps this story going is that it has the closed-room-mystery: one of the four boys has to be the shooter. This gives Elston ways of creating suspense, such as the short pages before each chapter from the villain’s point of view. From the very first moment you get the feeling that it wasn’t an accident, mainly because of these insights in the perpetrator’s mind. And when Kate starts to get close to the truth, these pages are more and more about her and how to stop her.
This villain is so good, that you start to worry towards the end. With four potential killers who are all teenagers, they are easily manipulated to frame one of their friends as long as it keeps themselves out of the woods (pun intended). As the book goes on and the end gets nearer, the question arises. Are there enough pages left to solve this case?
While it has a slow start, this book has a bang of an end that is totally worth it. Elston created a mystery where any one of the four boys could have been the villain and keeps you guessing until the very last chapter. The love interest Kate has is not only dangerous for her, but also for the case.
All this makes for a great YA-thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. From the plot twist, at least. If you like suspense and privileged teenagers, you should definitely get a copy of this book.