My rating: 1 out of 5 stars
Genre: YA – Thriller/Suspense
Pacing: Normal to Fast
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published: September 6th 2016
TRIGGER WARNINGS: Slut Shaming (mostly unchallenged), Sexism (unchallenged), Sexual Assault (Not only unchallenged but is never called rape).
There may only be one killer, but no one is innocent. When Mackenzie treks to a secluded cabin in the woods with six friends, she expects a fun weekend of partying, drinking, and hookups. But when they wake to find two of their own dead and covered in blood, it’s clear there’s a killer among them.
As the police try to unravel the case, Mackenzie launches her own investigation. Before long secrets start to emerge, revealing a sinister web of sins among the original seven friends. The killer is still free. Every one of them is a suspect. And Mackenzie starts to realize that no one is innocent… Synopsis from Goodreads.
“If you don’t trust anyone, then no one can screw you over. You’re going to find that out the hard way,”
Could this be one of the worst books I’ve ever read? Yes, yes I think it may be in that small pile of books that managed to offend and anger me just about every step of the way. RANT REVIEW incoming because oh boy, this one was a doozy. Mild spoilers ahead.
Natasha, it’s not me – it’s you. I’m sorry but it’s true. This is my second time trying Natasha Preston’s writing and both times I couldn’t believe half the stuff I was reading. This was considerably worse than “The Cellar” but I think it’s safe to say that Natasha’s books and I need to part ways…
I’m not even sure where to start on this mess of a book. The premise sounds fun, kind of like a 90’s slasher or something but it doesn’t play out that way. We have a bunch of 18 year old’s, heading out to one of their rich friend’s cabin for a weekend of fun and it turns into a double murder right off the bat with no one trusting anyone and lots of suspects. Like I said, this should’ve been fun and easy read but it soon turned into one of the hot messes I’ve had the misfortune to read.
To start off, none of these characters are even remotely likable or redeemable. I mean these are just dumb, horrible kids and I honestly wish it was a 90s slasher so I could’ve had the pleasure of watching each one of them die horribly. I don’t even want to get into all the characters, it’s all basic tropes, you won’t recall their names at the end. They are just a mish mash of basic horror tropes – loyal but stupid main girl, jock, rich kid, school slut, mysterious new boy and so on. Right off the bat, our main girl is intrigued by the mysterious new boy, who happens to be the rich kid’s estranged brother. Everyone is telling her to stay away from him but of course that makes her jump into bed with him even faster. After a hard night of partying – very hard, they all wake up for find two of them have been horribly murdered and conveniently no one heard it happen and obviously no one is fessing up either.
For a book that is called The Cabin, it barely takes place there. That would’ve been a cooler setting but it’s just the murder taking place there and then they all return to their normal lives where they start accusing each other of everything and slowly all their dirty secrets come out.
Ok, so this sounds like a basic run-of-the mill book, so why offensive? Oh, don’t worry I’m getting there. These characters are all horrible people and not in a fun way – they are not enjoyable to read about it even remotely. The romance between the lead girl and the mysterious new boy is maddening. He is distant, jerky and constantly saying that he doesn’t know how to deal with “emotional” or “hysterical” women. He’s a charmer. The huge problem here is it is 100% unchallenged. The main girl sees this as just him hiding his true wonderful self and basically sees his constant blatant sexism as sweet because she knows who he is deep down (Yes, I just threw up a little in my mouth too).
The book shows one of the characters that supposedly loves another spending a good deal of the time calling the them horrible names and slut shaming. Again, this character is pretty much unchallenged. The most that is said is that you don’t mean that but it’s mostly just seen as his way of grieving. It’s also mostly acceptable because he is hurting that she cheated on him. Dude, comes off as a violent, psychopath who we are supposed to believe has a heart of gold.
Then we have another character confess that they had a relationship with another person in secret, but that they only hooked up when they were both drunk. The person then goes on to say that the night of a car wreck that killed a couple of their friends (different friends – the plot is over-complicated) they spiked the drink of the person they had been sleeping with on the side. They said they just wanted to get laid and that is the only way the person ever slept with them – when they were drunk. The reaction to this is one of shock but mostly because it wasn’t right to drug them. It seems to be that since they slept together drunk in the past, that it means you are now allowed to take away their choice. THAT IS CALLED RAPE. It’s not just something to glaze over and nope, it’s never called out and never referred to as a sexual assault. I was so angry at this point, I have no idea why I kept reading – I guess train wreck syndrome. This kind of incredibly toxic behavior going unchallenged is all through-out the book.
As for the story, it’s a big hot mess of plot holes and convenience. We have a moronic detective that goes around harassing the kids and saying cryptic strange shit for no actual reason. It almost felt like a parody of a detective – it was just weird. We also get a red herring thrown in for good measure but it’s the laziest red herring I’ve ever seen. The character committing the crime makes Z.E.R.O. sense, the author did not throw a wrench in the plot and make me second guess with this, she just made me hardcore side eye at the book. UGH!
Then we make it to the end and holy shit do we get a shit show of plot holes and bullshit. It made no f*cking sense whatsoever. There is supposed to be a big twist, but I saw it coming a mile away because I had a feeling the author was going to be a complete cheat and go there and low and behold, she sure did. You can’t just throw shit around when it will never ever add up – not even if you get real creative. A twist is supposed to be something that when the reveal happens and you think back through the story, you are shook and all you can think is “well played.” Yeah, well all I could think of was CHEATER CHEATER PUMPKIN EATER!
Obviously, I do not recommend this book. The book is offensive, problematic and just poorly done. There isn’t anything positive to say and I wouldn’t put this in the hands of a teen for anything. It shows toxic masculinity at it’s worse and the girls seem to think it’s charming. I can’t stress enough how much I despised this book. I have no idea how this was published. I should’ve known better since in the last book I read of hers had rape as a trope. Just all sorts of NO!