This took an entirely different turn than I had expected.
Honestly, after the glut of books about girls lost in the woods that seem to be published or popular recently, it was nice to see the same hackneyed idea turned into something else. I enjoyed the ending being unexpected, though I am not completely sure I enjoyed the actual ending.
Things wrapped up in a way that I think made sense, but there were some loose ends dangling that just felt kind of awkward. I understand that it is not an easy crop of issues to wrap up in a ribbon, but I tend to prefer my endings more conclusive and less full of "Well, terrible things may still happen. And they probably will."
The romance felt a bit shoe-horned in and I'm not sure I bought it, or that it was terribly healthy. It had these almost-sweet moments, then statements that forced me to re-read them to make sure I wasn't absolutely crazy and that the boy had actually said that and it was not being taken as a bad thing.
Julia herself was probably the strong suit of the book. She was...I don't want to say "likeable," because she was often not, but she was realistic in a terrible situation. Watching her try to deal with the fallout of everything felt right. She messed up quite a few times, she had trouble letting people in and admitting what she was having issues with, but she actually also managed to be strong and have an interest in the world around her and a close relationship with her mother. It was nice to see her not fall into the trap of either being too much a martyr or too much a victim. She wanted answers, and her curiosity as a driving force turned this into a genuine thriller when it started seeming like the answers weren't going to be what she really hoped.
Her friend Liv is certainly interesting, though I never quite "got" her the way I had hoped. The more I heard about her or guessed about her, the more confused I was, though probably not as confused as she seemed to be.
This was a fast, dark psychological thriller, and I did enjoy it.
This book was provided to me for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.