The author of Pretty Little Liars is back with a 20-something unreliable that will leave you grappling for your hold on reality. Eliza Fontaine is only weeks away from publishing her first novel when she’s pulled from a hotel pool in what her family thinks is yet another suicide attempt. But Eliza swears she was pushed.
Alternating between Eliza’s present-day attempt to understand what happened that night and chapters from Eliza’s forthcoming novel The Dots, the lines between fiction and reality become increasingly blurred. Shadowy figures, medical mysteries, and outrageous characters abound. A man who runs comic-con-esque conventions, an aunt with stories about running away from reality, and dopplegangers.
As a lover of most of Shepard’s conceits, I did enjoy this book. It reminded me of The Girl o the Train meets Lies She Told, but in a more YA-esque novel as opposed to adult suspense. Sure, Elia Fontaine is in her early 20s, probably 22-23, but this book has a YA writing style. So don’t shy away from reading it because it is geared towards adults.
Personally, I found the chapters from The Dots more compelling than present day Eliza, but they do eventually meld together nicely. The ending isn’t completely satisfying, and I wish the book had ended a few chapters earlier, but overall this is another hit from Shepard that may be adapted for TV soon, because of course it could be.