She Started It by Sian Gilbert (Audiobook)

HarperCollins Publishers

Audible Release: June 13, 2023

Listening Length: 11 hours 13 minutes

Narrators: Sarah Ovens, Anne-Marie Piazza, Ione Butler, Billie Fulford-Brown, Sarah Cullum, Ella Lynch

Genre: Domestic Thriller

KKECReads Overall Rating: 5/5

KKECReads Rating for Performance: 5/5

KKECReads Rating for Story: 5/5

I purchased this audiobook on Amazon, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Sian Gilbert was born in Bristol, UK. She studied history at the University of Warwick, before teaching at a comprehensive school in Birmingham for almost five years. She now lives in Cambridge with her partner.

Annabel, Esther, Tanya, and Chloe are best friends—or were, as children. Despite drifting apart in adulthood, shared secrets have kept them bonded for better or worse, even as their childhood dreams haven’t quite turned out as they’d hoped. Then one day they receive a wholly unexpected—but not entirely unwelcome—invitation from another old friend. Poppy Greer has invited them all to her extravagant bachelorette party: a first-class plane ticket to three days of white sand, cocktails, and relaxation on a luxe private island in the Bahamas.
None of them has spoken to Poppy in years. But Poppy’s Instagram pics shows that the girl they used to consider the weakest link in their group has definitely made good—and made money. Curiosity gets the better of them. Besides, who can turn down a posh all-expenses-paid vacation on a Caribbean island?
The first-class flight and the island’s accommodations are just as opulent as expected…even if the scenic island proves more remote than they’d anticipated. Quite remote, in fact, with no cell service, and no other guests. The women quickly discover they’ve underestimated Poppy, and each other. As their darkest secrets are revealed, the tropical adventure morphs into a terrifying nightmare.

“It all went wrong.”

Annabel, Chloe, Esther, and Tanya have been friends since childhood. They were the girls everyone knew wanted to be, and they set the tone for how school life was lived. Poppy was the undeserving victim of their cruelty. This group tormented her until, one day, they just stopped.

Holy buckets. This was like Mean Girls to the max. The build-up was brutal, and the way Poppy was treated was genuinely heartbreaking.

The characters were all so well done, even though they were despicable. Annabel refused to acknowledge the past. It’s over, old news, and she isn’t bothered. Chloe is shallow and self-involved, living as a social media influencer. Esther and Tanya are also living their lives without regret.

But they all have secrets. This was such a twisted display of toxic friendship, bullying, jealousy, and how easy it is for someone to fall between the cracks and be forgotten.

The way this story was told was clever. Multiple narrators, with multiple points of view and alternating timelines, reveal the truth, past and present, with a twist that will leave you shocked.

This was brilliantly performed. Each of the narrators was fantastic, bringing their character to life and giving this story a realistic element that makes each twist more intense.

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