With Malice by Eileen Cook | Good YA Thriller with an Unreliable MC

September 21, 2016 | Posted by Genesis in Book Reviews | 14 Comments

With Malice by Eileen Cook | Good YA Thriller with an Unreliable MCWith Malice
by Eileen Cook
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Publication Date: June 7th 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Format: ARC
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3.5 Stars
Source: Gifted

It was the perfect trip…until it wasn’t.

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.

As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who she can trust and what she’s capable of, Jill desperately tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

late chat with gen

Jill wakes up in a hospital, covered in bruises and wounds, without any idea of how she got them. The police are investigating her for the murder of her best friend. Unfortunately, the last few months of her life have been wiped clean.

“It doesn’t matter what’s true — what matters is what people believe.”

I considered Jill to be an unreliable character. She has no recollection of what happened and her doctor tells her that some memories she could recover are possibly not real—I doubted everything she thought about. I was so confused about everyone’s motives. It was so hard trying to piece everything together. At one point, I did suspect the ending, but it was for a fleeting second.

You can’t tell anything about a person when things are great. If you want to really know someone, be there when everything goes to hell.

I honestly enjoyed the whole story. It kept me on my toes, it had the right amount of suspense and I really liked that the main character was unreliable. I had problems with the ending. Everything is revealed and suddenly, the end. I felt like it was cut off short. On one hand, I understand the abrupt ending because it’s actually fitting to how everything was unraveled; on the other, the abruptness didn’t give way to a completion or justice, I would say. I can’t really say more without spoiling the ending.

With Malice is a good YA thriller with a good dose of unreliable-ness to keep the story very intriguing. 

About Eileen Cook

Eileen Cook spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

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14 responses to “With Malice by Eileen Cook | Good YA Thriller with an Unreliable MC

  1. I keep hearing the same thing, about the ending! Honestly that’s what deterred me, at this point — the ending. I got a copy and a nice set of goodies from the pub, so I really felt like I should give the book a chance… but I kept seeing the same complaints, so naaahh. It was unsolicited anyway. 😀

    I’m glad you liked the book overall though, Genesis! Great review. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  2. Been curious about this one for a while now. I got it on Netgalley but haven’t gotten around to reading it for some reason. It does seem like an interesting story and I love not being able to figure everything out. Sounds like my kind of read. Thanks for your honest review 🙂

  3. I’m really glad that you’re reading all of these mystery thriller type books because I’m on the hunt for one to read. I just might pick this one up or at the very least, add it to my growing list of books to buy. Thanks for the review, Gen!

  4. Eva

    Great review! I honestly was bored by this — I only kept listening for the big ending/reveal and was so disappoitned! Totally agree it was too abrupt and no closure. Didn’t help that the narrator was snooze-worthy either 🙁

    I still love the cover!

  5. Emily Alfano

    The premise sounds good! but then the ending sounds kind of like a let down! I do enjoy a book where people lose their memories temporarily though, because I like the suspense of watching them put together the pieces again of what they can recall.
    Great review!
    Emily @ http://www.rabbitholereviews.com

  6. LostinLit Becca

    This is my book clubs read for October and now I’m dreading it because I hate unreliable narrators and abrupt endings, they are huge pet peeves of mine 🙁 Now I’m not so sure I want to read this one, but great review Gen!

    • Oh no :/ I can see how the abrupt ending is a pet peeve. I certainly didn’t like it. Some readers have said that the ending goes with a story. I can see it. I can, but it felt unresolved. It’s confusing to try to explain without giving the story away. If you read it, I really do hope you like it, though.

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