Sophie is 17 years old and has already almost died twice. The first time was when she was 14 and in a car accident that left her in permanent pain and set her on a course of drug addiction. The second time occurred four months ago when she and her best friend Mina were attacked by a strange man in the woods. While Sophie survived that encounter, Mina did not. Now, everyone believes the two girls were attacked because of a drug deal gone wrong and Sophie is blamed for dragging Mina out in the woods in the first place. Sophie knows that Mina’s killer is still out there and it’s all she can think about while being stuck in rehab for the past 3 months. Sophie knows she didn’t have a drug relapse and, when she returns home, she’s going to figure out who killed Mina.
This was a fast paced book and I definitely did not figure out who the killer was until it was revealed. The story is told in the present time, when Sophie returns from rehab, and in flashbacks detailing Sophie and Mina’s friendship and the events leading up to Mina’s murder. The flashbacks work really well, as they give up glimpses into Mina and Sophie’s lives. They don’t follow any sort of timeline so the flashbacks are almost more like memories instead of a parallel story.
Through unfortunate circumstances, Sophie got addicted to drugs and became a thief and a liar. Is Sophie a good person? Not all the time. She knows what she did in the past was wrong and she struggles to work on her relationships with her family. Sophie loves Mina and figuring out who killed her is one of the only things keeping Sophie from relapsing.
It was incredibly interesting to see, through the flashbacks, how Sophie has changed and how her relationships with Mina and her brother Trevor help shape Sophie into the person she is. To be honest, I don’t think Mina and Sophie had the healthiest of relationships. Sophie is consumed by Mina but I didn’t always see that same affection on Mina’s side. There are times when Mina seems to genuinely care about Sophie, however there were also times when she seemed incredibly manipulative and secretive.
Ultimately this is a book about Sophie’s journey to recovery. I felt that the author did a good job in emphasizing what it’s like to be a recovering addict. Sophie is constantly reminding herself how long she’s been sober and I felt like that highlights just how hard it is to break and addiction and it showed how strong Sophie was to not fall back into it.
I was surprised when I read that this is the author’s first book. I will keep an eye out for more from Tess Sharpe in the future.