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I absolutely loved this book! But I can't help wondering why Vivian went back to the cabin alone that night? I think Emma had thought maybe coming back for the map to her diary, but when Emma found the box, the diary was in it but not the wig and fake id? So did she end up finding it without the map but just left her diary? Or had she taken the wig and fake id out before and never was able to go back and find the diary? Or maybe leave it purposely for Emma? I really just wish I knew why she went back to the cabin!
Major Spoiler Alert
Okay, hi, I just feel like I need to recap this book in chronological order! What with the various timelines and the details you figure out along the way. No one around me has read it, so since I can't discuss the details I'm just going to word vomit them here to get it all straight in my own mind.
Many many years ago:
-Charles Cutler (Lottie’s ancestor) runs an altruistic insane asylum for women, selling their hair for wigs to stay afloat. He eventually sells his land to Buchanan Harris (Franny’s ancestor), who then floods the valley to create Lake Midnight – the asylum still fully intact underneath the water.
16+ years ago: -Vivian's sister Katherine drowns. She suspects Allison and Natalie had something to do with it. She befriends them, thereby falling out with Becca.
-By the end of that following summer, Vivian finds the box with the scissors, sparking her interest in Peaceful Valley.
Summer 15 years ago:
-Vivian is on a quest to discover the secret to Peaceful Valley / exact revenge on Natalie and Allison.
--Question 1: Was her diary part of the plan, hoping it would be found after they were gone and would support her story of them all going exploring and disappearing? Is that why she gave hints to Emma? Did she intend for N and A to read it to spark their interest in order to follow her that night? OR was the diary genuine and Vivian was actually interested in discovering the secrets of PV, the revenge plan only fully forming once the girls confess to their involvement in Katherine’s death?
-Vivian then hides the diary and draws a map to return to it.
-Vivian gets the girls to confess to their involvement in Katherine's death. Revenge plan is on.
-Vivian hooks up with Ben, who Emma thinks is Theo. Vivian is using Ben to get the shovel which she later uses to knock the girls out.
--Question 2: Did she intend for Emma to see? Is that why she chose that particular shower stall, in order to ensure Emma is mad at her? Or was that just a coincidence and Vivian went with it?
-Vivian and the other girls sneak out – they think to help her with her mission – she plans to kill them.
--Question 3: When she comes back and is locked out, what was her intention? To grab the map to return to her diary? To actually return to normal life?
-Vivian then disappears and starts a new life, somehow.
-Emma wakes up and feels guilt for 15 years for not letting "the girls" back in that night. She points the finger at Theo, because she thinks he was hooking up with Vivian.
-Theo’s life spirals based off of that accusation. Emma begins having hallucination of the girls, etc. etc.
-Chet decides to invite Emma back to camp in order to exact his revenge on her for ruining Theo’s life. He wants her to have the same suspicion hanging over her. No one knows his actual reason, and Emma returns to camp to figure out what happened 15 years ago. Chet messes with her throughout camp (birds, painting the door, etc.).
-Emma finds Vivian’s map and therefore her diary (her new cabin mates are with her on that trek). She follows the clues to the library, learning of Peaceful Valley. She eventually (drunkenly) admits to her cabin mates her guilt over that night 15 years ago. She passes out.
-The girls (Miranda) decide to help Emma’s guilty conscious by finding answers for her. By now they’ve read the diary as well, so they set off to where the map took them days before to look for more answers.
-Chet follows them, knocks them out, traps them/they hide in the “hobbit house.”
--Question 4: Was he watching them on the camera? How did he know they had snuck out?
-Emma wakes up and finds them gone. The opening narrative, we now realize, was from present time.
-Chet edits the footage to look like the girls had left 5 minutes before Emma, when really it was over an hour.
All the rest is written in order, so no need to rehash all that. It turns out Peaceful Valley and its demise weren’t completely sinister, Vivian was behind the disappearances 15 years ago, and Chet was behind them in present time – all to frame Emma and cause her the same pain that she caused Theo in the past.
I might be reading a little too much into this, but I love trying to find special quirks about the book.
Their favorite game was 2 truths and a lie. There are 3 italicized sections throughout the book. The first one you think is a 'truth' because you might think it is talking about Vivian. But as you read the 2nd part, you find you have been 'lied' to. "It's not about finding out which one is the lie, it's about making the person tell you the truth. " (not exact quote)
I just thought that was so fun. And it's probably not on purpose and like I said, I'm probably reading wayyyy too much into it.
Literally JUST finished reading. I am obsessed. Anyone else feel like we need a film adaptation?! I loved all the little extra paths that were thrown in to distract the reader, so that the big bad wasn’t discovered until late in the story. I’d really also love to know what happened after Viv took out the others, how she laid low (senator for a Dad, could have made it happen to keep his reputation from taking a hit). Thoughts?
Where the heck was Lottie?? It seems weird that wasn't explained after drawing so much attention to it. And I still don't really understand how Frannie's husband drowned - but that doesn't bother me as much as the unexplained disappearance of Lottie in Becca's photos. There's definitely some plot holes in this book - but it was overall very enjoyable.
4.5 stars - WOW! I LOVED this book. It was incredibly suspenseful and engaging the entire time.
Emma returns to Camp Nightingale 15 years after her bunk mates went missing. She is determined to find to find out what happened, but soon after she arrives she feels like she is being watched and old memories come flooding back. She must sort out what happened quickly before history repeats itself.
I couldn’t get enough of this book. There were a few times when the girls dialogue from 15 years ago was a bit unrealistic (“i.e., the major ovaries” comment), but otherwise it was great and I liked the ending. There were plenty of seeds planted along the way and twists to keep me guessing! This is a major binge-worthy book. I highly recommend!
Ok so I was really enjoying this book and then the last 5 pages or so really messed with my head. Specifically when it’s mentioned again how Vivian came back and asked Emma to let her in. What do you think would’ve happened if Emma did? It was just so creepy reading that information again now knowing what Vivian did to the other girls.
Is anyone else wanting to stand on the chest of the author and pull the background story out of her head!!! I get the thriller aspect of it but I just want more information to keep me interested in moving forward.
Hey! This is my first book from here and it's been so fun reading the exciting thriller! I look forward to reading all the discussion posts. I want to wait until I finish, so not to read any spoilers! So far the book is great! I love how the author goes back and forth from past to present and leaves you in suspense to why Emma believes she is behind the girls disappearance that keeps you yearning to read further!
I LOVED the book! I have 2 questions...what was the whole thing with the hair from a synthetic wig and remnants of a fake i.d. at the end? Also, why did the lady at the gallery at the end say Vivian died 15 years ago? Wasn't that Vivian??
Overall, I loved this book. But there were times when I hated it, and it left some very intriguing unanswered questions. It seemed to almost pander at times to the mystery. The way that Emma took SO long to figure out that what she found in the trunk was a map of the camp after the shape of the lake and the layout of the camp had already been described numerous times, as well as having looked at several satellite images of it. Much of the beginning of the book seemed to repeat itself frequently. There were several paragraphs that said the same thing two to the three times in a row. It was also so painfully obvious that Peaceful Valley was under Lake Midnight, that I didn't realize that Emma hadn't figured that out until she was actually there.
And I'm still left wondering about some things. First, why wasn't Lottie at the lake when the rest of the camp was? Was Vivian in fact stalking Emma at the camp? What exactly did actually happen to Franny's husband? There is still so much mystery!
This book definitely captures that creepy summertime Stranger Things vibe. At first I wasn’t a big fan of the Mean Girls feel but the mystery is so intriguing I found it hard to put down. For all of the excitement it did feel like there was a lot of building up to nothing. The ending was unexpected (and awesome!) but I would have rather had more of that than the drawn out whodunnit at Camp Nightingale. I really enjoyed the cinematic element of the writing. Overall, it was a fun summer read!
Has anyone else been having the problem of their books arriving with the corners crushed, sometimes even with the covers torn? My books have arrived beat up every month for at least the last 4 months. This used to never happen. It's always so disappointing when they look bad before I even open the shrink wrap. Do I just have terrible luck? :(