A week ago, Dinah’s cousin Claire cut her wrists.
Five days ago, Dinah found Claire’s diary and discovered why.
Three days ago, Dinah stopped crying and came up with a plan.
Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair.
Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator’s camouflage.
Today, she’ll find the boy who broke Claire.
By tomorrow, he’ll wish he were dead.
Description taken from Goodreads.
I read this book awhile ago and ended up doing a gif post for it, kind of like in the Once Upon a Gif format. I always meant to someday do a full review of it, but I never got around to it due to my pile of ARCs at the time. I went to the library a few days ago, remembered this book and picked it back up again for a full review this time.
PREMEDITATED really is a spectacular book. The way it is built up, established, reestablished and then twists right at the end of the story is a thrill ride that is extremely satisfactory, and leaves you with a full-on book hangover. I never saw the twist coming, and it was genius for me. Over the course of the story, McQuein drops little hints of it all over the place, only making the end result all the more shocking.
I think that the greatest thing behind this book is the masterfully crafted ending, but I can’t say that without mentioning all the things that led up to that ending and, specifically, the characters that made it all possible.
There are three, four counting Claire, main characters to this book. There’s Brooks, Claire, Dinah and Dex. I can’t say too much about any one of them without giving something away or hinting at the ending, but one thing I really, truly admired about PREMEDITATED was how much depth, layer and realness there was to each of them. I could clearly envision each one in my mind, even if the supporting characters dwindled away a little over the course of PREMEDITATED (this book has a fairly small cast anyway).
Brooks and Dex you really have to read about to figure out. Both are extremely different people, and because of the four main characters I believe it was impossible for this story to have a completely happy ending. Because these characters are the people that they are. It does have a good ending though, with the right people ending up in the right places and the beginning of a happy story.
As for Claire and Dinah, I have a little more room to work with.
Dinah is as she says she is. She’s rash and stupidly impulsive at times, which can be rather hard to watch, but she’s also clever and wickedly smart at times. The way she cares about Claire is awesome to see and watch play out. Their relationship is really fun and their banter is entertaining as well. Claire and Dinah are almost exact opposites at the beginning of the story, but Dinah comes to find out that they really aren’t all that different in essence. Dinah grows tremendously over the course of PREMEDITATED, and for that I was extremely grateful.
Claire has a pivotal role in this book, and yet she doesn’t do too many things or make too many appearances in the story itself. From what I did see of her, I loved her innocence and the way Dinah perceived her, but I also loved how strong she was and I could really sympathize with her.
My recommendation? READ THIS BOOK. The plot, pacing and characters are all on point.The beginning is a little dry, but the rest of the book is insanely good. If you’re a sucker for great endings, then this story is for you. Then go read The False Prince by Jennifer A. Neilson if you’re a fantasy junkie, How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford if you love contemporary or The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin if you want really gritty, intense contemporary. But I’m getting ahead of myself. My only advice for reading this book: keep on reminding yourself that you’re not really sure of anything about this book.
pg count for the hardback: 336