One Sentence Synopsis
Lizzie was the only one with her best friend, Alice, when she was tragically hit by a train when they were thirteen and now her past is coming back to haunt her.
“You may wonder why I let her take the lead. Why I surrendered all sense of self on the altar of her desires. I wonder it myself sometimes, but I never had a choice. Not really.”
Before I get into this review, I want to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review! It is, as always, very much appreciated.
When I tell you this book was a wild ride… oof! This thriller took me on a lot of ups and downs and the twist actually made my jaw drop.
In this story, we’re following a young woman named Lizzie Molyneaux. Lizzie has just moved in with her fiancé, is thinking of going back to school to get her degree, and is finally on the right medications to keep her seizures at bay. It seems like things are looking up for her, but there is something in her past that still pops into her head. The death of her best friend, Alice, when they were both thirteen. Alice was tragically hit by a train at an unsafe crossing and Lizzie was there when it happened. She’s tried to move on from that past, to live her life without the specter of Alice and what happened after hanging over her. But then, the past drops on her doorstep and everything starts to change.
This is my third Lesley Kara thriller and, as with the other two, the writing is some of the best I’ve encountered when it comes to pulling me into a story. It just so incredibly readable, if that makes any sense 😂 The pages flew by and I found myself halfway through the book in what felt like a blink! I love the way she can pull you into Lizzie’s head and have you inhabited that space. I was fully immersed in Lizzie’s past, her fears, and everything she was dealing with as the story progressed.
Seeming as I loved the writing so much, you’d think I’d have finished with this in the span of a day or two. Unfortunately, I ran into a bit of snag because of a plot element. I’m always a little tentative when pregnancy comes into play in any book, but even more so when it’s a thriller. And I acknowledge that this is totally a me-thing! Before I had my son, I suffered a miscarriage and it’s one of the few things I try to avoid reading about in books. It happened 8 years ago, but it’s still a tender spot in my heart that I don’t really like to poke. So when Lizzie became pregnant, I was worried. To the point that I put the book down and just couldn’t make myself read for a couple of days. Eventually, I sat myself down and made myself continue because I had really been loving the book up until then!
And I’m glad that I did! Because, though the pregnancy plays a large role in this story, it didn’t go down the route I thought it would and I ended up really enjoying the twists and turns the author took. The bit in the middle involving the little asides in italics truly blew my mind! Once I got back into the book, it was hard to put it down! I will admit to the ending feeling a tad rushed and a little bit unsatisfying when it comes to a particular character. I also can’t speak to the epilepsy rep, but I thought it was handled well in my limited opinion. But, overall, it was a thrilling story that sucked me in and had me on tenterhooks throughout.
Final thoughts: This was an intense and frightening tale of a past that just won’t let go. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing and have come to realize I will read anything that Lesley Kara puts out into the world. Her writing has a way of gripping you within the first few pages and keeping a hold until you’ve closed the book. Though I’m not a fan of pregnancy as a plot point in thrillers (for very personal reasons!), I think this book handled it well. And though the ending felt a bit rushed, I still ended up really enjoying this read! If you’re a fan of thrillers with big twists, dual timelines, and lots of secrets, I think you would enjoy The Dare!