Sunday, July 1, 2018

Book Review: The Elizas by Sara Shepard

New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars, Sara Shepard makes her mark on adult fiction with this Hitchcockian double narrative composed of lies, false memories, and a protagonist who must uncover the truth for survival.

When debut novelist Eliza Fontaine is found at the bottom of a hotel pool, her family at first assumes that it’s just another failed suicide attempt. But Eliza swears she was pushed, and her rescuer is the only witness.

Desperate to find out who attacked her, Eliza takes it upon herself to investigate. But as the publication date for her novel draws closer, Eliza finds more questions than answers. Like why are her editor, agent, and family mixing up events from her novel with events from her life? Her novel is completely fictional, isn’t it?

The deeper Eliza goes into her investigation while struggling with memory loss, the closer her life starts to resemble her novel, until the line between reality and fiction starts to blur and she can no longer tell where her protagonist’s life ends and hers begins.

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Review:

I was a fan of the Pretty Little Liars book series (and tv series), so when I saw this novel by Sara Shepard, I knew I had to read it.

While The Elizas wasn't a bad read, it wasn't great either. To me, the pacing started off fast. I couldn't get enough of this book. However, around half way through it, I found the pacing slowing down, and I found myself not drawn to this book as before.

While most of the world building if believable, some of it is a bit extreme. There's one part of the book where it seems to delve into science fiction. I won't elaborate though due to spoilers.

I found the whole plot was fairly predictable although there were some things I didn't learn until towards the end. The easiest thing to predict had to do with The Dots. Again, I won't go into detail due to spoilers. I did feel like the book dragged on for the last 25 percent. I found myself growing bored and willing The Elizas to just end already. I felt like it could have ended way before it actually did.

Eliza was an interesting character. I did like her and admired her determination. I found the character of Desmond to be laughable. He just didn't feel real with his strange wording. I couldn't really connect to any of the other characters. It seemed like there wasn't enough written about the other characters with the exception of Dorothy, Dot, Eliza, and Desmond.

I found The Dots, the story within The Elizas, to be more interesting than the actual story. I looked forward to each time there was a chapter on The Dots.

There are references to alcohol, some sexual situations (although mild), some violence, and some swearing (although not much).

Like I said, The Elizas isn't a bad book. It's just not that great. There were some good things about it, such as The Dots and the character of Eliza. I would recommend this book to those aged 16+.
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