Tuesday, February 22, 2022

ARC Revew: The Fear by Natasha Preston

The Fear

Natasha Preston
Publication: Delacorte Press (March 1, 2022)

Description: Hot on the heels of the New York Times bestsellers The Twin and The Lake, the undisputed queen of YA thrillers is back.

Don't be afraid. Be terrified.

It’s just a stupid meme that’s going around their small fishing town in the dead of winter—people reposting and sharing their biggest fear. But when her classmates start turning up dead—dying in the way that they said scared them the most—Izzy knows it’s no joke.

With each death hitting closer to home, Izzy sets out to try to stop the killer. Could her older sister’s friend Tristan have something to do with the deaths? He’s given her some strange vibes. Or what about his brooding cousin, Axel? But he’s in her classes at school. He’s not a murderer . . . is he? Izzie’s soon on a path that will lead her right to the killer . . . and her own worst nightmare.

My Thoughts: It all starts with a stupid meme: post your greatest fear. It's winter in this small fishing village and the meme spreads like wildfire. Izzy sees it but she isn't going to post her fear and gets mad when her cousin and best friend post theirs. 

Izzy's right because then her classmates start dying in ways that echo their greatest fears. The first victims are Debbie and Kason - members of the school's in-group. Izzy is the one who discovers Debbie's body. She's driving home with her friends after being at a party and is going slowly because there is a snowstorm when she sees something that makes her stop. 

When the police interview her, she says she says Debbie had left the party earlier. No one was too concerned since Debbie is known as a mean Drama Queen. Izzy is greatly upset by being the one who discovers Debbie's body. Then the next day hockey player Kason's body is found and tensions rise in the town.

Izzy is determined to find out what happened to her two fellow students. After all, she's the one who found Debbie's body. She's also observant and smart. But suspicions and bodies begin to pile up. She has an overabundance of suspects. It is Justin who is her secret crush? He and Kason were rivals on the hockey team and he dated Debbie. Is it Axel the quiet loner who is Izzy's partner for an English project? Is it Tristan? He seems to show up frequently in odd places. He's also her sister Lia's friend that she hasn't seen often since Lia went off to college. 

Most of the chapters are told from Izzy's point of view but a few are told from Fear's point of view. Unfortunately, the clues Fear drops in his chapters don't help us readers eliminate any of Izzy's suspects.

The story was creepy and filled with tension. However, Izzy borders on being Too Stupid To Live as she ventures off on her investigations with little regard for her own safety and wavers between trusting and suspecting many characters.

Then, there is the ending which was both ambiguous and extremely frustrating. Teens will likely enjoy the twisty plot and intrepid heroine.

Favorite Quote:
"Who do you think it is?" I ask.

"You're better off asking the cops that," he says, repeating my words with a smirk.

"I have asked but they won't tell me anything."

"They won't consult with a teenage girl about a murder investigation? Strange."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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