Jill wakes up in a hospital severely injured, and her first concern is will she still be able to make her planned trip to Italy. She is shocked to find out that her injury occurred in Italy, and that she has lost the memories from the last several weeks of her life.
She also wants to see her lifelong best friend, Simone, and soon finds out that they were both in a car accident. Jill was driving and Simone was killed. Her father had Jill jetted back to the US presumably to receive the best medical care, but also to receive the best legal advice. It seems the Italian authorities think the car crash may not have been an accident.
Jill spends the rest of her time in the hospital and then in rehab trying to figure out what happened. The reader gets police interviews and blog posts from those that were witnesses or those that were close to the girls. While the interviews reveal some details, the truth still isn't clear to the reader.
Jill is convinced there's no way she would have harmed Simone, no matter what they were arguing about. Even if it was about the Italian tour guide that Jill had a huge crush on and Simone tried to steal. But as the truth comes out...
Well, I'm not going to say any more. The ending is ambiguous and the expected twist really didn't materialize. There is an interesting revelation that any savvy reader could have predicted. With Malice has been compared to We Were Liars but doesn't pack nearly the punch. I didn't experience any attachment to Jill. Maybe I'm not supposed to. I didn't dislike her, but I didn't really feel myself pulling for her.
The writing is easy, and With Malice is a quick read. The story is intriguing, and maybe teens will be more shocked at the revelations than I was.
Published by HMH BFYR, June 7, 2016
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
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