17 December 2012

Review: The Girl In The Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab

Title: The Girl In The Wall
Author: Daphne Benedis-Grab
Published: 18th December 2012
Publisher: Merit Press
Source: eArc with thanks to NetGalley and Publisher

Ariel's birthday weekend looks to be the event of the season, with a private concert by rock star Hudson Winters on the grounds of her family's east coast estate, and all of Ariel's elite prep school friends in attendance. The only person who's dreading the party is Sera, Ariel's former best friend, whose father is forcing her to go. Sera has been the school pariah since she betrayed Ariel, and she now avoids Ariel and their former friends. Thrown together, Ariel and Sera can agree on one thing: this could be one very long night.
They have no idea just how right they are.
Only moments after the concert begins and the lights go down, thugs open fire on parents and schoolmates alike, in a plot against Ariel's father that quickly spins out of control. As the entire party is taken hostage, the girls are forced apart. Ariel escapes into the hidden tunnels in the family mansion, where she and Sera played as children. Only Sera, who forges an unlikely alliance with Hudson Winters, knows where her friend could be. As the industrial terrorist plot unravels and the death toll climbs, Ariel and Sera must recall the sisterhood that once sustained them as they try to save themselves and each other on the longest night of their lives.

Sometimes it is refreshing to read a book that turns out to be completely different to what you were expecting. I was expecting this to be a fluffy easy-read book, but I found it to be an engaging thriller that made my eyes well up at points.

So to set the scene we have Sera, who is a fairly recent social outcast, and Ariel who is the one that exiled Sera from having any social standing at school or within the powerful group of friends. Sera has been made to go to Ariel's fabulous birthday party by her parents since they used to be best friends. The party is going to be fabulous, her whole class is going to be there, and there is will be a musical performance by Hudson Winters, rock star extraordinare. Suddenly the party is taken over by men at gunpoint in an attempt to kidnap Ariel's Father. Ariel manages to hide in the secret passages in the walls of her house which angers the kidnappers. As the hostages begin to die, Ariel has to decide if she stays where she is or gives herself up, and Sera has to decide if she tells the kidnappers where Ariel is or stays quiet.

The story in this book only covers a few hours, but it is a gripping read. The chapters switch between Ariel and Sera being the narrator. At the beginning when the two girls have really different personalities which made it easy to know who you were reading. Ariel is incredibly strong and closed off emotionally at the beginning of the book. She quickly decides that she will have to sort this problem out herself and takes charge of the situation the best she can. As Ariel's character evolves and we find out why there is a rift between her and Sera she begins to soften a little and become a rich character.

Sera starts off as a quiet character who tries to keep her head down and not get involved with what is going on. She is a little bitter about why she has been socially exiled. As her character develops and she begins to understand Ariel's issues a little more she starts to get stronger and less willing to roll over and accept the situation. I felt that towards the end Ariel and Sera had become extremely similar as characters and I would forget who I was reading.

This story and the characters gripped me and made this an amazing read. I love a good thriller and a bit of a mystery, and with the addition of it being YA and having some solid characters, made this book really enjoyable and something I will be recommending to others in the future.

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