The cute little seller at Warwick's in La Jolla referred me to this book as I was browsing at the store. She said it had kept her up at night and that she was haunted by it. Strong words for any book. So I bought it. She was right to a point.
Zan's debut is pretty stunning. It is hard to think this is her first book because her voice is so powerful and smooth. The beginning of the book is fantastically written to a point where I was sucked in immediately. Sarah is a disturbingly mental woman. There's no going around that. Zan builds up her character pretty well even to the point where it almost becomes unbelievable. All the dark and painful experiences Sarah went through is alluded to just enough that you get a taste but not so in-depth that you feel like you're reading trash. As a reader you become very sympathetic toward Sarah. Part of the tension and the thrill of it is the fact that she's not very strong and you worry that she's just not going to be able to pull through.
At some point, however, the book becomes less intriguing. I'm not sure when that happens. I just know by the end I was less involved. Sarah suddenly becomes more apt to be strong. I love good character development, and I was glad Sarah finds herself at the end, but it just seemed too sudden and easy. This girl was a complete mental case (for good reason) and she breaks out of it too quickly in my opinion. I think it would have been better had she just shown signs of getting healed, rather than suddenly being better.
People keep comparing this book to Gone Girl. I don't think it's a fair comparison. They're completely different. This is Zan's first book, though, so I suppose it is good on her that her debut is being compared to Flynn's (correct me if I'm wrong) third or fourth novel. Only good things are in Zan's future as she continues to write and prove herself as an author. She is a great new female voice in this genre. I will certainly read more of her work.