Monday, October 24, 2022

Book Review: The Sleepover

By Sara Steven

When you’re a kid, you imagine monsters to have horns and fangs. That they hide under the bed or in the wardrobe. And you believe they can only come after you when it’s dark.

You don’t expect them to look like everyday people or that they may be someone you already know…

The summer in question started out with hot, fun-filled days and new friendships.

We had just turned thirteen and had our whole lives ahead of us.

But that was before her…

Before we became known as the Hixton Five and our lives become defined by one night.

It’s hard to believe twenty years have passed since she was locked away.

But now she’s free and strange things have started to happen.

When I close my eyes, the creeping anxiety and fear is overwhelming and all too real.

Because the monster is back, and I know she has a score to settle with us.
(Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

Ordinarily, the bad guy in a mystery or thriller is simply that: the bad guy. I really appreciated the unconventional means of making a woman the bad guy here within The Sleepover. It also made for a believable storyline, considering the children involved had been practically lured into what they’d believed to be a safe environment, where a matronly figure they’d already known and trusted used her manipulations against them, leading into the most traumatic experience of their lives.

It’s affected all five children differently in adulthood. But the one who has tried her best to forget about the events has been Hannah. Twenty years later, she’s chosen to live a simple life free of anything that may cause drama or chaos–until Liam. He’s a writer who is doing research on the Hixton Five, and as much as Hannah wants nothing to do with him because it means revisiting that torturous past, at the same time, there is something about him. She feels drawn to him, creating this push and pull experience between the two characters. 

Liam has his own secretive past that he wants to share with Hannah–eventually. It’s tied to the events, in a pretty unique way. If he lets her know too soon, it means losing something that helps him feel as though he can bridge the gap in his own life, but if he chooses to never let her know, it might mean safekeeping everything. Along the way are tragedies and horrific practical jokes that Hannah bears witness to, begging the question on whether the monster has truly come back to haunt her and the rest of the group. And how Liam is tied to it all. 

I loved the suspenseful nature of The Sleepover. Mostly told in the present time with glimpses from the past, I went right along with Hannah while she tries to tackle her demons; the ones from her childhood, and the ones that are still left lurking as an adult. This was a definite five-star experience!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

Keri Beevis is the internationally bestselling author of Dying To Tell, Deep Dark Secrets, Trust No One, Every Little Breath, and The People Next Door. Dying To Tell reached no. 1 in the Amazon chart in Australia and was a top 25 hit in the UK. Keri wrote her first novel at age twenty, but it was a further twenty years before she was published, after winning a contract in a competition run by a small press. She lives in Norfolk, along with her two naughty kitties, Ellie and Lola, and a plentiful supply of red wine (her writing fuel).

Visit Keri online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

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