Review: The Elizas by Sara Shepard

Review: The Elizas by Sara Shepard
The Elizas by Sara Shepard

Published by Atria Books on April 17, 2018
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: Edelweiss

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I received an advance copy of this book from Edelweiss.

When debut novelist Eliza Fontaine is found at the bottom of a hotel pool, her family at first assumes that it’s just another failed suicide attempt. But Eliza swears she was pushed, and her rescuer is the only witness.

Desperate to find out who attacked her, Eliza takes it upon herself to investigate. But as the publication date for her novel draws closer, Eliza finds more questions than answers. Like why are her editor, agent, and family mixing up events from her novel with events from her life? Her novel is completely fictional, isn’t it?

The deeper Eliza goes into her investigation while struggling with memory loss, the closer her life starts to resemble her novel, until the line between reality and fiction starts to blur and she can no longer tell where her protagonist’s life ends and hers begins.

The Elizas by Sara Shepard (best known for her Pretty Little Liars series) has been described as a Hitchcockian mystery, which is probably why I had been eager to read it. But this turned out to be very much a middle-of-the-road read for me: I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either.

When the story opens, Eliza Fontaine has been fished out of a hotel pool again. Yes, this is not the first time this has happened. Eliza has a history of suicide attempts, so her family assumes that this is the latest. However, Eliza is convinced that someone was there with her at the pool—and that someone pushed her into the water.

Eliza embarks on an investigation to get to the bottom of what really happened that night she almost drowned. Simultaneously, her first novel, The Dots, is about to be released—a novel that slowly begins to mirror Eliza’s life more and more. The narrative of The Elizas alternates between Eliza’s perspective and passages from The Dots. Soon, Eliza begins questioning not only her memory of events, but also the motives of everyone around her.

As I mentioned, I felt pretty indifferent about the book once I finished. There are a few plot points that I guessed early on, which was surprising since I don’t normally predict plots very well in crime fiction. Plot twists and the element of surprise are what makes books in this genre so fun for me to read; so in this case, something was missing. I think many readers will probably love this book, but it was just all right for me.

Rating: 3 stars


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