The Things We Do To Our Friends

The Things We Do To Our Friends by Heather Darwent is an interesting, academic thriller. Clare wants nothing more than to reinvent herself, and Tabitha is ready to assist.

All quotes are from an advanced reader copy, and may or may not reflect the published edition.

From Goodreads:
Edinburgh, Scotland: a moody city of labyrinthine alleyways, oppressive fog, and buried history; the ultimate destination for someone with something to hide. Perfect for Clare, then, who arrives utterly alone and yearning to reinvent herself. And what better place to conceal the dark secrets in her past than at the university in the heart of the fabled, cobblestoned Old Town?

When Clare meets Tabitha, a charismatic, beautiful, and intimidatingly rich girl from her art history class, she knows she’s destined to be friends with her and her exclusive circle: raffish Samuel; shrewd Ava; and pragmatic Imogen. Clare is immediately drawn into their libertine world of sophisticated dinner parties and summers in France. The new life she always envisioned for herself has seemingly begun.

And then Tabitha reveals a little project she’s been working on, one that she needs Clare’s help with. Even though it goes against everything Clare has tried to repent for. Even though their intimacy begins to darken into codependence. But as Clare starts to realize just what her friends are capable of, it’s already too late. Because they’ve taken the plunge. They’re so close to attaining the things they want. And there’s no going back.

Characters: 8 | Atmosphere: 6 | Writing: 5 | Plot: 7 | Intrigue: 7 | Logic: 8 | Enjoyment: 8
Total: 7.00 / 4 stars

Rating: 3 out of 5.

“We were so special. And there she was, offering to turn me into the best version of myself. It wasn’t something I could turn down.”

This story’s dynamic of Claire, Tabitha and the rest of the group was interesting. It created a thriller that was stress-filled and high stakes. I was invested, and the pacing of the book was incredible. Claire wanted to prove she wasn’t like other girls, wanted to show she was different, over and over again- and she did. And it led to the terrible events in this book.

“I am capable, but also different, and I cannot be fixed by anyone or anything however hard they might try.”

However, despite my inability to put this book down, some parts lulled. They felt like watching a filler episode in a many-episode TV season. While I understand that much of it was to explain the friendship dynamic, to pull you in further with them, it wasn’t my favorite. Things like Claire’s romance could have been left out, as they didn’t add anything to the plot or create anything with it.

“Now, I know threes can be tricky and sometimes it helps to diffuse the intensity with larger numbers, but for a while it really was good. We balanced each other out.”

There were moments I wanted more details on, and these were missed due to such filler-style chapters. Things like the entire “honeypot” scheme being minimized, and what the aftermath truly looked like- just to name a few. Despite these critiques, I still deeply enjoyed this thriller. The characters were interesting, their behaviors unique and fully fleshed out. The concept was also fascinating. There were, of course, some things in the execution of it that I would have changed, but overall, it was a fun read.

“The things we do for our friends,” Tabitha said to no one in particular. “We help them. We have to.”

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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