Title: The Death of Us
Author: Alice Kuipers
Publisher: HarperTrophy Canada
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
A recovered friendship, a dark secret, and a love triangle with a deadly angle…Callie is shocked when her friend Ivy reappears after an unexplained three-year absence, but the girls pick up where they left off, and suddenly Callie’s summer is full of parties, boys and fun. Beneath the surface, things aren’t what they seem, however, and when a handsome boy with a dark past gets tangled up with Ivy, the girl’s history threatens to destroy their future.
I’m always intrigued by books that have a synopsis that doesn’t reveal much. That’s exactly what Alice Kuipers’ The Death of Us was. Despite it’s short length, this was a powerful novel, one that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to any contemporary lover out there.
After Ivy’s sudden departure, Callie never thought she would see her friend again. But three years later Callie can’t believe it when Ivy just shows up on her doorstep. It’s like no time has passed since Ivy left. The two fiends go back to things the way they were before everything happened. Before long, Callie finds herself going to parties and hanging out with boys, things she would never feel comfortable doing without Ivy by her side. But things with Ivy aren’t what they seem. There’s a lot more going on, and soon enough Ivy’s past is threatening to take away Callie’s future.
Before being offered the opportunity to read and review The Death of Us, I hadn’t previously read any of Alice Kuipers’s books. I’ve realized now that was a mistake. If they are anything like The Death of Us was, they are definitely books I need to read. The Death of Us was an absolutely fantastic read, and one that was completely different from what I’ve been reading recently. This was a story that was told from multiple perspectives not just in terms of characters, but also in terms of timelines. The story starts off on one night, but soon after it jumps back in time and features the events of the two weeks leading up to that one night. It was a very interesting way to tell the story and it definitely kept me reading because I wanted to know what had happened that led the characters to where they are at the very start of the story. Which I know sounds like a weird thing to say, but it makes sense when you read the book. The Death of Us was also a very short story, barely over two hundred pages, but it packed a major punch. I don’t want to say too much because doing so would give too much away, but know that this a story that will most definitely surprise you.
It’s difficult to talk about the characters in this book because the whole time I was reading, there was a bit of a mystery surrounding each one of them. That is to say, that it wasn’t until the very end of the story that it became clear exactly what was going on with all of these characters. That didn’t stop me from enjoying reading it all from their perspectives, because I really did. I really enjoyed seeing Callie come into her own and figure out exactly who she was and who she wanted to be. Ivy kept me guessing the whole through the story, I just never knew what she was going to do next or whether she was being honest or not. And Kurt I just kept rooting for. It felt like I only got short glimpses of him, never enough to fully satisfy me. Until I finally got as much as I wanted and it pretty much gutted me. I didn’t know what to think anymore. But getting to read about Kurt the way I did because of it was completely worth it.
Alice Kuipers’s The Death of Us was an absolutely beautiful and powerful story. I enjoyed absolutely every page of this book and I am still trying to process everything that happened, days after I finished reading. If you are a contemporary love, I can’t recommend this story enough.