The Diary by Vikki Patis #TheDiary @PatisVikki @bookouture

I know all your secrets, Lauren.’
Lauren has spent years running away from her home town, her childhood and the memories of her best friend, Hannah.
Until the tenth anniversary of Hannah’s death forces her to return home and to the group of friends she abandoned there. It should be a quick visit, just so Lauren can pay her respects.
At home, Lauren finds Hannah’s old diary. A diary full of secrets. The terrible things Lauren did, the lies she’s told, the reason she ran away. And she receives a message:
‘I don’t know why you’re back, but I know why you left.’
But no-one else has seen the diary, and Hannah’s dead, isn’t she?
A suspenseful psychological thriller full of twists and turns – you won’t be able to stop turning the pages of The Diary. Perfect for fans of The Sister, The Girl on the Train and We Were Liars.

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This psychological thriller started out very promising. It drew me in from the start, alternating between before and now, the chapters neatly marked as such at the beginning of each one. It was clear I was dealing with at least one unreliable character; lies and intrigue were abundant. As advertised, it was very addictive: I really wanted to find out what happened to the girls a decade ago, and I was anxious to know what would happen to Lauren in the present.

I bonded with Lauren right from the start. I mean, she likes to read, she has a cat, she watches Netflix, she likes her home spic and span, she’s basically me!

Patis also uses some cultural references that resonated with me: Nirvana, Cruel Intentions, The Craft(only my 2 favourite movies from the ‘90s!). There is a Pretty Little Liarsvibe to the novel that I quite liked and I also liked her writing style, I’d never guess this is a debut novel. In other words: I had a great feeling about this novel!

You can feel the “but” coming, right? Here it is: butthere is a theme of abuse in this story, which made me enjoy it less. I have the utmost respect for Patis and everyone and anyone who has ever been abused in any way, but I’ve read too many novels lately in which abuse is an explanation, or an excuse and a plot is built around it and it’s become a trigger for me, I’ve become overly sensitive to it. To be clear: there is little to none explicit content. If you’re on the fence and want to know more in order to decide, feel free to contact me. I’d like to reiterate here that it’s absolutely me, not this book! This is a personal hang-up and it does not diminish the quality of Patis’ writing or this story. Above all, this is a twisty psychological thriller with a satisfying ending I did not see coming and a story of (female) strength and friendship and forgiveness.

I read an ARC provided by Vikki Patis, Bookouture and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to all.

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