All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth
Elizabeth Klehfoth's debut novel is a mystery thriller written from the perspective of Charlie Calloway, a teenage girl in her final years at boarding school who is plagued by her mother’s disappearance. As the story progresses she begins to learn more about what happened to her mother, finding out along the way that not everyone was who she thought they were. Titled All These Beautiful Strangers it really makes you question whether you are surrounded by strangers too.
|All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth
|Reviewer: Holly Lewtas
|Summary: Suspenseful, enthralling and ominous are only a few words that begin to describe this mystery thriller that will have you racing through the pages.
|Date: July 2018
|External links: Author's website
From the very first page I knew I would thoroughly enjoy this book. As you open the book you are met with your own business sized card from the A's, a secret group at Knollwood Prep who hold significant influence over the school, inviting you to join them. A great deal of the novel deals with Charlie’s journey to become a member of the A's, having to undergo a series of initiation tasks that open her up to a whole new world. By receiving the same card as Charlie you are immediately immersed into the novel; it is as if the novel crosses the line between fiction and reality, adding to its sinister side.
Throughout the novel you are reminded that Charlie Calloway does not come from a typical American family, but from a family of great wealth and importance. At times it can be difficult to engage with the novel due to dislikeable aspects of Charlie's personality. However, this is compensated for by the narration of the novel being from several perspectives at different times. Charlie is the main protagonist who writes in 2017 but there are a series of chapters from her mother Grace's perspective, both before and after she became part of the Calloway family. It was incredibly interesting to be given an insight into Grace's life leading up to her disappearance, whilst simultaneously reading about Charlie finding out about what exactly happened to her mother.
An aspect of this novel that could not be criticised is Klehfoth's writing style and imagination. She manages to give each person their own individual voice, even when it comes to minor characters. Several times throughout the novel I was shocked by its depth, particularly concerning the grieving process that both Charlie and her mother's family go through. Klehforth was able to perfectly communicate the way in which Charlie had been brought up to almost resent her mother and the effects this had on her as a person could be clearly seen.
At times the novel did seem to take a while to progress, but this allowed you to get to know the characters and question their intent. All you know at the beginning of this novel is that Grace has disappeared, you do not know whether she was murdered, kidnapped or simply ran away. There were a variety of possible paths that this novel could go down which is a credit to Klehfoth as she managed to keep it so open. Each character you meet you wonder whether they have anything to do with Grace's disappearance, yet you are not even sure if her disappearance was by choice. There were so many possible outcomes which made it an even more enjoyable novel.
This novel has been greatly associated with the likes of Gossip Girland if you are a fan of that then you will love this novel. Independent of whether you are an adult or young adult you will be thrown into a world of suspense and secrecy that you will not want to leave. Klehfoth greatly captured the essence of what a real mystery thriller is and it will not disappoint.
If you are looking for more thrillers based around strong-minded female characters then I would recommend Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas.
You can read more book reviews or buy All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth at Amazon.com.
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