I can't review this book without telling its secrets. It's better if you know nothing about it before reading. I can tell you that it's about a girl named Cadence and her three friends who spend every summer on a private island.
I can tell you that the writing style is strange, fragmented, and beautiful. It gives a very eerie feeling to what could otherwise be a fairly boring story. The narrator has an interesting way of over-describing her emotions. When her father leaves their family, she says that he pulled out a gun and shot her, and her heart flopped around in the dirt. A less talented writer wouldn't be able to get away with that. The reader knows from the first page that the narrator is a little weird and probably unreliable.
Everybody in this book is a liar. They lie to each other as they fight over the grandfather's money. They lie to society by making themselves appear perfect. The narrator lies to herself about what really happened when she was fifteen.
I did have a very hard time getting interested in this book. I spent over half of it just reading because I like the way it's written. Cadence is whiny and not very likable. I didn't care about her or her friends.
The second half of the book is much better. I started to like Gat. It was interesting to see a rich, perfect family being torn apart by greed and pettiness. The bond between Cadence and her friends got stronger as their families tried to pull them apart. The book addresses the issues of racism and classism. The characters are privileged and ashamed of being privileged.
Then came the twist at the end. I was expecting a twist from reading the book's summary, and the promise of a twist was one of the things that kept me reading through the slow beginning. The twist showed me that I did care about the characters. Or, at least I cared about Gat. The twist isn't anything mind-blowing. Endings like this have been done before. However, it works for me. It's sad and strange, and I love it.