Genre: Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery
Published: July 2nd, 2013
Publisher: SoHo Teen
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Source: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
"This is W.A.R. begins with a victim who can no longer speak for herself, and whose murder blossoms into a call-to-arms. Enter four very different girls, four very different motives to avenge Willa Ames-Rowan, and only one rule to start: Destroy James Gregory and his family at any cost. Willa's initials spell the secret rallying cry that spurs the foursome to pool their considerable resources and deliver their particular brand of vigilante justice. Innocence is lost, battles are won—and the pursuit of the truth ultimately threatens to destroy them all."~Goodreads
Who doesn't like a good revenge novel? All of us have been wronged at some point and felt powerless to do anything about it. So there's something cathartic about watching someone get whats coming to them. This is W.A.R. is a fun and ultimately satisfying novel that weaves together the stories of four girls bent on bringing their best friend's killer to justice.
- Four different narrators: I always love it when an author can use different voices to effectively tell a story. It makes for a well-rounded story and allows the reader to see all viewpoints. Each of Willa's friends have their own reason for wanting revenge and their own reason for feeling guilty about her death. The girls vastly different personalities also make the story more interesting and believable. I particularly enjoyed the chapters narrated by Willa's stepsister Madge. She did a great job of making me feel closer not only to her but to her sister as well.
- Yuppies who rule with an iron fist: One thing that is vitally important to a thriller is a bad guy you love to hate. The Gregory's fit this bill to a tee. They are spoiled, entitled and completely above the law. They abuse their power and have seemingly no appreciation for the value of other human beings. But they aren't just one-dimensional jerks. There are layers to the Gregory family. The Captain, while obviously an awful human being, is driven by more than just greed. Trip has been emotionally and psychologically crippled by something in his past and James has been driven to rampant alcoholism by his family. You love to hate them, but you want to understand them as well. When you throw in their small lakeside town and the country club that acts as their seat of power the show is quite spectacular.
- Not too unrealistic: It would be easy to set up a series of grand schemes that could never happen in real life in this story. The girls are from wealthy families and money is thrown around like it's nothing. But most of the schemes the girls come up with are not completely out of the realm of possibility.
- Rich people are horrible: I get a little tired of wealthy people being made into caricatures of Blair Waldorf. Not everyone who has money is rude and spoiled. Now I am not saying that as someone who has money, the dent in my car's rear bumper that has been there since 2008 will attest to that. I am simply saying that as someone who has met all types of people from all different backgrounds. The country club members are some of the most abhorrent people you can imagine. They treat the staff like slaves and behave however they want regardless of how it affects others. I understand that this particular country club had to be this way for the story to work but it still made me roll my eyes.
- I'm still a little confused about the ending: I won't get into spoilers here but I have to say there is something that happens at the end regarding a website that I'm totally confused about. In fact, if any of you have read this and want to explain it to me please shoot me an email. I'd be forever grateful.
If you're looking for a fun, fast-paced summer read with lots of vigilante justice, this is the read for you. I definitely will be keeping this on my shelf for summers to come. It's thrilling, shocking and totally satisfying.