I am quite surprised that this book isn't talked about more, on Goodreads specifically. It is the epitome of a perfect summer read - I ate it up in one day (and this book isn't small - 448 pages).
Also, I had no expectations whatsoever when I started reading it, so I think that contributed to me being very pleasantly surprised by this debut.
The beginning of the book has very strong Pretty Little Liars vibes, but much, much better executed. However, as the book progressed I started comparing it to The Secret Garden by Kate Morton (which I recently also read). The comparison is due to the story branching out through two generations- past and present colliding, and that is something Morton does in her every book. But, while The Secret Garden almost put me to sleep, All These Beautiful Strangers hooked me and didn't let go till the very end.
Mostly, we follow the story through Charlie in the present day, but we also get glimpses into the past from her parents' points of view. The overlapping was done really well, and the story flow felt very natural. And if I put you off by comparing this to Pretty Little Liars, don't worry All These Beautiful Strangers is far superior to PLL in every sense - structural, grammatical and just in general the writing is quite good.
Charlie is a great main character to follow around - she doesn't pull her punches, she says what she thinks and never takes it back. Sure, she might be a bit antisocial, but I was actually able to relate to that. The story is set in a prestige boarding school, but despite that it wasn't tacky in a way college novels can be.
By the end it did get pretty intense and I loved it! The book that makes me feel things (and I felt scared for the character) is a book worth reading my opinion! All These Beautiful Strangers is a perfect summer read, and as far as young adult mystery books go - this one is one of the best I've read so far.
Big thanks to the publisher, William Morrow, for providing an advanced reader copy for a review. All opinions are my own, honest and come from the heart.
Freelance BETA reader.