Maya is haunted by the death of her best friend years earlier when they were on the cusp of high school graduation and planning their futures. This is brought to the forefront of her memories when she sees a video on youtube of a woman dying on camera despite not being touched. Maya knows though, that the man in the video, Frank, (someone she dated for a few weeks at 18) is responsible for the stranger’s death, just as she knows he was responsible for the death of her best friend Aubrey. Does she actually know? Or is this just a delusion from withdrawal symptoms from going cold turkey from Kolonipin (which is a terrible idea, don’t do that)? Or is it the alcohol that she can’t seem to stop drinking? Could Frank have manipulated Maya years ago, or is she mentally ill like her mother’s sister? OMG…I wish these tropes would stop.
So the story is fine enough, it’s suspenseful and the writing is excellent (especially for a debut novel). Where the book falls short and is frustrating is that it includes the world’s worst tropes of the past 20 years–the drunk/the addict/the potentially mentally ill person, put into place so that we the reader have to decide, “Can this person be trusted to perceive reality?” I find this infuriating and annoying. And I felt really sad for Maya because she told people what she saw and heard as a teenagers and was written off, and now that she’s struggling in other ways she’s afraid to share with people what she believes is going on. No kidding! Consider me shocked! (not really). Maya was let down the first time, this time she attempts to find proof on her own so that someone will believe her. The plot ends fairly unsatisfyingly, (without spoilers), Maya can now be believed because she’s successfully off pills and booze and attends AA meetings so she gets a voice and that voice is believable. Definitely not a fan of that message (intentional or not). If you have an hour or two, it won’t be a book that would take long to read, but there are better out there.