by Nancy Werlin
Published on June 6, 2017 by Dial Books
Genres: Suspense/Thriller, Young Adult
Let's not die today. Not even to make things easier for our parents.
When a building collapses around five teenagers and they just barely escape they know something strange is going on. Little by little, the group pieces together a theory: Their parents are working together to kill them all. Is it true? And if so, how did their parents come together and why? And, most importantly, how can the five of them work together to save themselves? With an unlikely group of heroes, sky-high stakes, and two budding romances, this gripping murder mystery will keep readers guessing until the last page.
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There’s a reason I don’t tend to read thrillers, suspense, anything like that. I struggle to connect with the stories, to really get into them. But I’ve been expanding on what I read more and wanted to give And Then There Were Four a try. The premise was a bit… well, shocking, really, which I suppose was part of the appeal. To see how the author handled it.
So, perhaps this book is an excellent example of a YA thriller. I’m not really sure. Not a good judge of that. But it definitely disturbed me. Imagine thinking that your parents are trying to kill you and then realizing it’s true.
Werlin showed this potential nightmare-waiting-to-happen through the eyes of two of the five students. Caleb speaks in second person and believes he’s a monster. Is he truly? That’s for you to decide while reading but the truth was seriously messed up. The other narrator, Saralinda, is very different in how she describes the world around her (first person this time around). They alternate back and forth with varying chapter lengths to keep you on the edge of what might happen and in the dark about the truth.
Of the five students (Caleb, Saralinda, Evangeline, Antoine, and Kenyon), I think I liked Kenyon the most. She was down to earth and took everything in stride, but had her flaws. I kind of wish we could have gotten her perspective as well as Evangeline’s in the story since I think they would have really added something. Though I wasn’t a fan of their romance because it felt really forced and just thrown in to make a few scenes more dramatic.
Saralinda drove me CRAZY with the rambling sentences and her general personality. Reading her chapters was far less interesting for me than Caleb’s, but I wasn’t really sure I understood why they were written in 2nd PoV because I didn’t feel like it added all that much.
As for the story… okay, I’ll be honest. I’m not a teen anymore but it wasn’t all THAT long ago since I was (like seriously, it’s only been a few years). And this book, it’s young adult. Written for teens.
I don’t think I could read this book as a teen.
I’m not sure I could really recommend this book to teens.
Is that wrong? Weird? Like, maybe the book did too good a job but even though the idea of parents wanting to kill their children because they’re burdens in one way or another (for some it’s health reasons, personalities, past actions, and so on) is a bit far-fetched…it’s kind of scary to think about. As a teen, I would honestly question if I was a burden to my parents after reading this. That’s just not a good feeling. In that same vein, Werlin is an excellent writer and the book moves at a quick pace that kept the tension high even though I set it down a few times.
So maybe this is a fabulous thriller for making me reluctant to recommend it, maybe I’m crazy, and maybe I need to stop reading suspenseful books before bed….