The Telling by Alexandra Sirowy
Published August 2, 2016 by Simon & Schuster BFYR.
YA > Mystery, Thriller
Lana used to know what was real.
That was before, when her life was small and quiet.
Her golden stepbrother, Ben, was alive.
She could only dream about bonfiring with the populars.
Their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell the truth from lies, and Ben’s childhood stories were firmly in her imagination.
Then came after.
After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, living with nerve and mischief.
But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten: Love, blood, and murder.
At first, this book was shaping up to be much like any other mystery/thriller that I’d read and enjoyed. But then the story takes a turn, and it becomes not only entertaining, but also a much deeper and darker, emotionally charged story about love and morality.
This is a really hard book to talk about for fear of spoiling. What I will say is, that this went from “just another thriller” to “something crazily good” when that turn occurred toward the end of the book. It triggers the reader to question their own morals and emotions when put in Lana’s perspective. I really didn’t know how to feel about the events that were happening, but that’s what made the ending so wonderful.
It’s a truly gruesome story, with very clearly mentally ill characters, but Sirowy weaves this story so that, while leaving the reader horrified and in disbelief, we almost understand the motives of the characters, and want just as much as others for the crimes to not be true. The emotional complexity and morally ambiguous characters push this story to be great.
Sirowy’s writing places you right in Lana’s mind. It’s an eerie and dreamy state, that at points are shook awake from the scary events in the book. At points, the story becomes magical, and I was unsure if the book was going to incorporate the supernatural. You doubt your sanity right along with Lana.
Dark, twisted, and dangerously emotional, The Telling is a chilling story about love and bravery, and the lengths a person can go for both. I highly recommend this book to any mystery/thriller fan. It won’t disappoint!