on October 6th 2015
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
That’s all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths.
Is the one person she trusts only telling her half the story? Nothing is as it seems in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the debut author Emiko Jean.
Now that. Was awesome.
“I’m coming for you, Cellie. Come hell or high water. I’m going to find you. And when I do, I’m going to kill you.”
We’ll Never Be Apart is quite the debut novel. From the very first words on the very first page, it had me hooked and even after finishing it, I’m not sure if it has quite let go of me yet. I’m still thinking about what a mad (pun intended) rollercoaster this was, filled with twists and turns, building up and up and up until it finally lets you drop and leaves you reeling with all of the mindfuck.
But in a good way.
Alice Monroe is stuck at the mental facility in Savage Isle after a brutal attack by her twin sister Cellie, which burned her boyfriend to death and nearly killed her, too. With nothing but a journal to occupy her mind, she’s filled with a terrible rage and only one mission: to find her sister, so she can return the favour. But when she starts writing down her earliest memories, some locked memories race to the surface and leave her reeling with more questions than answers. Nothing is what it seems anymore.
“She knew what I was feeling – that a beam of happiness as soft and shiny as the moonlight had found its way in. She couldn’t wait to carve it out.”
This is not a genre I usually read, but it’s always a genre that blows my mind if done well, and this was one of those times. There’s always that uncomfortable, niggling feeling of a thriller set in a mental ward, that something is about to go terribly wrong, and you’re just turning page after page to find out what.
Even more unsettling was Cellie – we know from the beginning that she set fire to the barn Alice and Jason were hiding in. Then, through Alice’s journal, we travel back in time to when Alice and Cellie were youngest. Bit by bit, Cellie grows more unnerving and it becomes clear that something’s not quite right about her. This slow transition into madness was done incredibly well, and with every journal entry I grew more and more disturbed by Cellie’s behaviour until she became downright scary, but in the best possible way.
When Alice is not writing in her journal, she’s either in group therapy, individual therapy, or hanging out with Chase Ward. They build a careful friendship based on lie after lie after lie, which you know just won’t end well, but it’s great to see that unique dynamic of a dysfunctional blossoming romance and it’s hard to pinpoint just where it will go. Especially when Chase tries to help Alice come to terms with her past – things go all kinds of wrong.
The book relies heavily on the ending, which can make it or break it for you. Some people had predicted it; I personally didn’t (well, part of it) and that raised the book from a four-star to a five-star-read for me. I thought it was really well done and it made me wonder about the entire book and what I just read.
“And I know, I know, we’ll never be apart.”
We’ll Never Be Apart was a quick and thrilling read that left me upside down and wondering about my own sanity. Absolutely brilliant.
Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a copy