Title: That Weekend
Author: Kara Thomas
Genre: YA, Mystery
Published: June 29th, 2021 (Delacorte Press)
Synopsis: Three best friends, a lake house, a secret trip – what could go wrong?
It was supposed to be the perfect prom weekend getaway. But it’s clear something terrible happened when Claire wakes up alone and bloodied on a hiking trail with no memory of the past forty-eight hours.
Three went up the mountain, but only one came back.
Now everyone wants answers – most of all, Claire. She remembers Friday night, but after that… nothing. And now Kat and Jesse – her best friends – are missing.
That weekend changes everything.
What happened on the mountain? And where are Kat and Jesse? Claire knows the answers are buried somewhere in her memory, but as she’s learning, everyone has secrets – even her best friends. And she’s pretty sure she’s not going to like what she remembers.
Thank you to the publisher, Penguin Teen Canada, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Claire is found injured and alone on a hiking trail with no memory of the past 48 hours. She, along with her best friends Kat and Jesse, had decided to skip prom and instead spend the weekend at Kat’s family lake house. Now her friends are missing and she has no idea when they went hiking, let alone what happened on the mountain. As the search drags on for days, then weeks, everyone is desperate for answers, and Claire most of all. But even as she tries to piece things together from what little she recalls, everyone around her seems to have secrets, and finding out the truth may be more dangerous than she realized.
While this is my first time reading a book by this author, I knew there was no way I could pass up this one after seeing the blurb. I was completely hooked within the first two chapters and with such a tense plot and engaging narration, I simply couldn’t put this down. The story alternates between past and present as Claire recovers from her injuries and tries to remember the events of that night and the following day, and I really liked this format because not only was it easy to follow, it also feels like the reader is solving the mystery right alongside Claire.
This is one of the few mysteries I’ve read that includes a time leap. It’s an unusual choice, breaking the flow of the story given the high level of suspense in the narrative, but it worked for this one. As with most novels of this genre, the plot tends to take center stage, not leaving too much time for character development, but it still did a pretty good job. Claire, as it becomes evident quite early on, is an extremely unreliable narrator, which is frustrating at times, but her determination to find out what happened to her friends, even with her missing memory months later made it an interesting read. The characters were presented in a very realistic manner and felt very authentic to how teenagers might handle being in such situations
The one thing that I felt did not really work for this book is how the story rewinds to several months before the incident and shows us Kat’s POV of the months leading up to the weekend getaway. While this was a nice way of unfolding the sequence of events, within a couple of chapters from Kat’s perspective, there was enough information to guess one big detail of what had happened, leaving only the how and why for the last quarter of the book to narrate, along with wrapping up things in present day. To give the author credit though, it was a complete shock and there was no way I could have predicted it without the change in perspective. I would have also liked a little more resolution to Claire’s side of things as it was not clearly mentioned where she ends up.
I was surprised that even after a large chunk of the mystery was given away earlier, the last couple of chapters still had a few twists in store and it made for quite the exciting finish. I certainly didn’t have any inkling as to what might be going on until the story revealed it, which in my book is a mark of an excellently woven plot. That Weekend is one of the best mysteries I’ve read in several months and it was so much better than I expected it to be! If you’re in the mood for a fast paced and exciting read, I would highly recommend this one!
That Weekend releases on June 29th, 2021.
Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!