The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes
“You think I wanted to kill her? I didn’t. But she figured it out. Can you believe it?”
― The House in the Pines, Ana Reyes
Summary: Maya was a high school senior when her best friend, Aubrey, mysteriously dropped dead in front of the enigmatic man named Frank whom they’d been spending time with all summer.
Seven years later, Maya lives in Boston with a loving boyfriend and is kicking the secret addiction that has allowed her to cope with what happened years ago, the gaps in her memories, and the lost time that she can’t account for. But her past comes rushing back when she comes across a recent YouTube video in which a young woman suddenly keels over and dies in a diner while sitting across from none other than Frank. Plunged into the trauma that has defined her life, Maya heads to her Berkshires hometown to relive that fateful summer–the influence Frank once had on her and the obsessive jealousy that nearly destroyed her friendship with Aubrey.
At her mother’s house, she excavates fragments of her past and notices hidden messages in her deceased father’s book that didn’t stand out to her earlier. To save herself, she must understand a story written before she was born, but time keeps running out, and soon, all roads are leading back to Frank’s cabin….
My Opinion: This book was definitely entertaining, and I enjoyed the overall premise. The first half of the book was intriguing, but the plot wrapped up without a satisfying ending in my opinion. It was vague and relied on imagination. In some ways, it felt like the author wanted to do something different by not providing a shocking culmination.
The author portrayed the narrator as unreliable, which I struggle with, especially when their perspective is the only one we get. From the start, I agreed with Maya’s conclusions and was not surprised by the “twist”. Some parts that lost me were the chapters would occasionally go between past and present, but you didn’t know which timeline you were in. All in all, it was an okay book, and I’m glad I finished it since it was a different type of psychological thriller.