My therapist tells me I should write you a letter. Like flushing all my thoughts and feelings out of my system and onto paper. I tell her it’s a stupid idea.
But here I am, writing a letter to a dead girl. Where do I start? Where did our story begin? From the moment you were born…or died?
I’ll start with the moment I found out the truth about you. Your lies and my pain. Because it always begins and ends with you.
And that end began when Rafe Lawrence came back to town…
Ava Hale will do anything to find her sister’s killer…although she’ll wish she hadn’t. Because the harder Ava looks, the more secrets she uncovers about Kesley, and the more she begins to think that the girl she called sister was a liar. A sneak. A stranger.
And Kesley’s murderer could be much closer than she thought…
A debut novel from Wattpad award-winner Kara Terzis, Frayed is a psychological whodunit that will keep you guessing!
Last week I received a copy of FRAYED in the mail and I was beyond excited because I was not expecting to receive a physical copy of the book from the publisher. I had originally requested a copy of Kara Terzis’ debut novel because I was looking for a good young adult suspense-filled read to spice up my summer reading list. FRAYED certainly did not disappoint in this regard. Over the past few weeks I’ve been going through a bit of a reading slump and I really needed a good page-turner to get me back into my reading challenge. Thankfully, FRAYED contained just the right combination of teenage tragedy and suspenseful mystery to grab my attention and keep me interested right up until the last page.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. I found the author’s writing style to be engaging and suspenseful without losing the reader in unnecessary details. Terzis did an excellent job of laying down a trail of breadcrumbs that lead the reader to a total plot twist towards the end of the book. I definitely did not see that ending coming! In fact, I had this book pegged as one with a predictable ending because I was so sure that I knew who was responsible for Kesley’s death. Evidently, I could not have been more wrong. For this, I have to commend the author. It is not often that I find a good book that keeps me guessing right up until the very end!
With all of that being said, the one criticism that I have of this book is that an extremely important detail of the plot is based on the common misconception that mental illness leads to violence. While I appreciate the fact that the book was full of suspense, I’m hesitant to wholeheartedly support something which is in direct opposition to my passion for ending the stigmatization of mental illness. While depicting psychiatric illnesses in a criminalized way might make for a thrilling story, I think it’s important to recognize that it is completely fictionalized and not based on facts at all. As a mental health advocate and social work graduate student, I have done a tremendous amount of research regarding the damaging effect of such misrepresentation in media content. Therefore, while I appreciate the fact that the author did not likely intend to perpetuate stigma, I think it is imperative that we recognize the misrepresentation of mental illness in order to prevent the propagation of a misinformed society.
Despite this downfall, I appreciate the author’s attempt to emphasize the ability of sufferers to gain control over mental health conditions as demonstrated by Margo/Ava’s improvement in the final pages of the book. So while there were certainly aspects of the book that I didn’t completely agree with, I don’t think the book was entirely misguided or misinformed when it comes to recovering from mental illness.
I could easily see this book becoming extremely successful and I will certainly be keeping an eye out for future works by Kara Terzis. The author clearly has a talent for writing and an incredible knack for storytelling. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a young adult novel with a gripping story line. FRAYED would go great paired with a warm cup of coffee and a rainy day.
Let me know in the comments below if you have read or are planning to read FRAYED by Kara Terzis. I would love to hear your thoughts on the book!
Thanks for reading,
Note: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest reader review. The opinions expressed herein are my own.