Can you keep a secret?
Shhh… “This Will Be Our Little Secret.”
A mysterious, shadowy silhouette on the cover and a thought-provoking title: That’s why this book caught my eye at first.
Who was that girl?
My curiosity led me to discover the identity of the girl and what she did that made her so creepy dangerous. My imagination told me it will be a story full of secrets.
So, it was.
“Beware that girl” is the latest novel of Teresa Toten, a multiple award-winning author. She won the Governor General’s Literary Award in Canada for “The unlikely hero of room 13 B.”
Toten starts her novel with an excellent attention-grabbing story which provokes your thoughts and makes you dig deeper. Something happened. Something big happened.
A mysterious story full of secrets occupies your mind…and nothing, absolutely nothing else matters.
So, you decide to take the things in your hands and go on a journey to reveal the truth.
Written in an enchanting tone, the book is divided into short, well-organized chapters which are quick to read and easy to follow. The author presents monologues, dialogues, dates, details to recapture the real essence of the story, which creates a deep bond between the readers and the main characters.
Kate O’Brien – smart and clever, a scholarship student at the Elite Waverly School in New York City. She is poor but can survive on her own. The only thing that keeps her alive is Yale. Yale is the prize: “I deserve better. Way better. I want a big life.”
She has plans to make her dream happen. How is she going to do that? Oh, she is a masterful liar! And she trusts no one. Does she?
She finds her “meal ticket and the roof over her head” in Olivia – rich, gorgeous, damaged, and alone… she desperately needs a friend to understand her.
Olivia has a friend and Kate is on the way to achieve her goal. Their friendship blossoms. Life is beautiful. It will be even better. Well, not yet. Between the two pigeons, the author throws a wicked cat.
He is the Director of Advancement at Waverly, smart, confident, and charming… Handsome to the bones. Redkin. Every single girl has a crush on him. Or, should I say married women too?
He becomes Kate’s biggest threat. He. Knows. Their. Secrets. What’s Redkin’s game?
There are so many unanswered questions that mess up with your head. The narrative jumps between Kate’s and Olivia’s point of view (first and third person) which gives you a sense that the control is in your hands: you know who is who and what is what.
Actually, that’s author’s clever plan to confuse the reader, which I personally loved it. Despite all the provided details, there’s no way for you to figure out the characters’ real personalities.
I found myself totally lost and confused about the characters. When I read that Kate was a dangerous liar, there was her dark past that made me empathize with her. When I read about Olivia’s changeable mood, there was the battle with her inner demons that made me feel sorry for her.
I couldn’t dislike either of them; Instead of judging, I tried to understand their reactions.
One thing was sure, however: Toten did a great job to make me despise Redkin from the first time his name appeared in the book… and there was no evidence to show me why I shouldn’t. There was something about him I couldn’t explain to myself…Something freakily insane.
I encountered so much detailed information about Kate’s past, a little evidence about Olivia’s past that encouraged her inner demons, and nothing about Redkin’s past that could justify all the tension around him.
Totally creative! Totally confusing! Extremely challenging! The author really knows how to play her game with our minds!
Coming closer to the end of the book, I got excited and couldn’t wait to see what’s going to happen, even though I could sense what’s really going on…Or could I?
And right at the moment when I applauded myself for being able to predict the very end, it left me with my mouth wide open.
What? No way!
On the other side, however, I wished the end was different, as I felt that it was somehow rushed.
Nevertheless, I guess that was the whole point: Toten kept my total focus on Kate for a Big Fat Reason.
Here comes the million-dollar question: Does the title refer to Kate, or maybe someone else?
Dare to reveal the mystery by yourselves.
Well, if you’re a fan of psychological thrillers, and you want to dive deeply in something that will make your skin crawl, I gladly recommend you this marvelous book from the core of my heart.
It will keep you turning pages.
It will fascinate and entertain you with its twists and turns.
It will keep you guessing till the very end.
I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
Why will this book keep your attention?
Because we encounter people like Kate, Olivia, Redkin everywhere.
Because we are surrounded by manipulations and lies, and we need to know how to read people’s real intentions and peek into the dark side of their psychological state.
Because we all have secrets and there are people who ‘thrive’ on them, as we live in a world in which “some of us are hunted and some of us are the hunters.”
Because this book will prove to you that you must beware those who tell you sweet words and offer a help and teach you to never, ever walk into their parlour.