When seventeen-year-old Georgia’s brother drowns while surfing halfway around the world in Australia, she refuses to believe Lucky’s death was just bad luck. Lucky was smart. He wouldn’t have surfed in waters more dangerous than he could handle. Then a stranger named Fin arrives in False Bay, claiming to have been Lucky’s best friend. Soon Fin is working for Lucky’s father, charming Lucky’s mother, dating his girlfriend. Georgia begins to wonder: did Fin murder Lucky in order to take over his whole life?
I am going to start this review with just about the only thing I liked about this book: Georgia was a baker. I love food and more than that, I love sugar. So the description of her lemon tarts and lavender shortbread cookies made me very hungry. I’ll just ignore the fact that she mentioned she had never made a muffin before. What kind of baker doesn’t ever make muffins? Weird.
Now that we got that out of the way, I’ll talk about what I didn’t like. First, I could not connect with the main character at all. Maybe it was the writing style or the lack of emotion or maybe it was the fact that everything moved way too fast. There was no grief or mourning of Lucky by anyone really. It was kind of talked about, but I just couldn’t see it or feel it, so I didn’t really care. Fin shows up and has one conversation with Georgia and suddenly, she wants him. Then he starts meeting with Lucky’s girlfriend (Sonia) and she gets very envious. Of what, I have no idea. Sonia met with Lucky once and Georgia decided to ask if they had slept together. And why was that any of her business?? For a while, I couldn’t tell whether Georgia was attracted to him or suspicious of him.
I had huge issues with this author’s portrayal of mental illness. It didn’t just annoy me. It made me mad. Did this author do any research on paranoid schizophrenia? It doesn’t seem like it. Georgia hints at “episodes,” but there is nothing in her past that suggests schizophrenia. Yet, she does act a bit paranoid at times in the present. It’s weird and confusing. Years earlier, she had yelled at her teacher. The teacher sent her to the principal’s office, but she didn’t go. She snuck into the janitor’s closet and accidentally started a fire. She ran and hid because she was afraid. So they take her to a shrink, have all kinds of tests done, and make the diagnosis. To make it worse, Georgia says that part of the diagnosis probably came from her mom telling her therapist about her “symptoms”: hysteria, fits of rage, quiet, withdrawn and a loner. REALLY?!? WTH?!? NONE OF THAT EQUALS SCHIZOPHRENIA!! Here’s another thing that pissed me off: Georgia gets upset and says she is mad because Fin was sitting in Lucky’s chair and playing with Lucky’s dog and dating Lucky’s girlfriend. She thought he was trying to take Lucky’s place. What was the response? Call her therapist and INCREASE HER MEDS. Then her mom said that because of that “episode,” she couldn’t trust Georgia and had to monitor all her activities. WTH?!? An emotional outburst DOES NOT EQUAL SCHIZOPHRENIA!!! I am so sorry for the all caps, but that made me so MAD!!! I really hated the therapist too. Every single session was him making sure she was taking her meds. THAT WAS ALL. There was no talking about her grief or what she was feeling or anything.
But here’s the thing: there would be episodes where Georgia maybe showed signs of some sort of mental illness because she would hint at hearing voices or something. Or she would have a hallucination. So most of the book consisted of stuff that had nothing to do with being schizophrenic and then the author would suddenly sprinkle in a hallucination here and a delusion there. I honestly think the mental illness part was a boring, stupid subplot to try and make the mystery more interesting than it was. It didn’t work. I was still bored. The ending wrapped up entirely too fast and it wasn’t even worth sticking around for.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: Please just skip it.