It Will End Like This by Kyra Leigh is marketed as a modern Lizzie Borden retelling. Charlotte and Maddie’s mother has suddenly been found dead, and their entire lives have changed.
Charlotte lost her mother six months ago, and still no one will tell her exactly what happened the day she mysteriously died. They say her heart stopped, but Charlotte knows deep down that there’s more to the story.The only person who gets it is Charlotte’s sister, Maddi. Maddi agrees—people’s hearts don’t just stop. There are too many questions left unanswered for the girls to move on.But their father is moving on. With their mother’s personal assistant. And both girls are sure that she’s determined to take everything that’s theirs away for herself.Now the only way to get their lives back is for Charlotte and Maddi to decide how this story ends, themselves.
All quotes are from an advanced reader copy, and may or may not reflect the published edition.
“Six months ago, I didn’t hate my father, I didn’t hate Amber. Six months ago was a different life.”
This book starts interesting, in one of those, is it artsy or is it insane sort of horror writing ways. Charlotte is clearly not mentally well, and it reads blatantly in her point of view chapters. After all, this is supposed to be a Lizzie Borden retelling, so I understand how that would be a necessary part of the tale. However, if you are even mildly versed in that particular true-crime case, you’ll be disappointed by this book. The inclusion of Lizzie Borden elements feels like an afterthought. As though our author didn’t know how to tie up the pieces of her horror book and decided to pull from a half-researched and well-known case. This was, probably, the largest frustration I had with the book. It caused the ended to feel nonsensical and wrapped up with a pretty bow.
“Dark thoughts. They fill my head like water. They fill my mind. Sometimes it’s like they fill my soul.”
This book is told predominately from Charlotte’s point of view, with some chapters from Maddie’s. It is not evenly distributed, and you do leave the story wishing you had more of an idea of how Maddie felt by the end of things. Charlotte is (I assume) supposed to be an untrustworthy narrator. This reads well, but it’s buried under inane commentary about every single other thought she has. There is a conversation about what deodorant she should wear and dialogue about boys and parties that feels irrelevant to the ongoing story. None of this built upon the character, and most of it made me feel frustrated. I found myself writing in my notes, repeatedly, “what is the point of this!?” It took away from any tension in the story, and so when the more frightening things happened, I was annoyed. Not scared, just annoyed.
“I can’t trust anyone anymore,” I say. And I know it’s true.
This book has a lot of pieces in it to make up a good thriller. However, the writing really fails to develop those pieces into a cohesive story that’s enjoyable to read. Perhaps I just dislike this writing style, perhaps I’m being too judgemental about the retelling aspect. This book simply was not enjoyable for me. The pacing is quick, luckily, making it easy to get through. Had it been a slower-paced book, I imagine I would have DNF’d it quite early on. The marketing of retelling for this really harms it more than causes good, and I hope that both the author and marketing team keep that in mind for the next book to come.
“Love doesn’t come from murder.”
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.