Posted 20 hours ago

In My Dreams I Hold a Knife: TikTok made me buy it! The breakout dark academia thriller everyone's talking about

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Winstead expertly explores group dynamics through her book’s central characters, delving into the shifting allegiances and closely guarded secrets that can exist within cliques— and exploring the lasting impact these group dynamics can have long after individuals have gone their separate ways. Although the characters aren’t particularly likeable, I liked getting to know them in the school setting. At its heart, Winstead's novel examines what it means to covet the lives of others, no matter the cost.

They are each distinguished well and the developing cracks in their relationships add a lot of dark, brooding suspense in an already sinister-feeling mystery. Ten years ago, everything fell apart, including the dreams she worked for her whole life — and her relationship with the one person she wasn’t supposed to love. All of the characters are so fleshed out and it was such a great mystery trying to figure out what actually happened in the past. Ashley Winstead gives readers a complex and compelling protagonist in Jess, and I enjoyed every moment spent in her sometimes twisted, sometimes heartbreaking inner world. Everyone is going to see the girl she wants them to see—confident, beautiful, indifferent—not the girl she was when she left campus, back when Heather’s murder fractured everything, including the tight bond linking the six friends she’d been closest to since freshman year.At a prestigious college- a group of very close friends, ‘dubbed the East House Seven’ lose one of their own when a young woman named Heather is murdered in cold blood. This balance between drama and suspense, once established, sucked me right in and kept me hooked until the book’s end.

Ten years after an unsolved campus murder, the victim's best friends reunite, knowing one might be a monster—but is anyone innocent? I’ve been so excited about this book for weeks now—next to For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing (another absolute must-read) it might have been my most anticipated thriller of the year. Set against the backdrop of an elite southern university, this engrossing suspense novel takes readers into the dark secrets of a picture-perfect friend group, exploring the complex dynamics that exist between individuals who have spent their formative years together. The cherry on top of this deliciously dark read is a cinematic, gut-punch of an ending—the kind of finale that feels built for the big screen, and more than makes up for any slower start that some readers may find this book to have. Ashley Winstead's mordant debut novel is the latest entry in the budding subgenre of "dark academia," where the crime narrative takes place on a college campus.This, of course, is not inherently a negative, and the care with which the author builds her story’s universe pays off as the book progresses. She’s got the perfect job, perfect looks, perfect everything, and she’s sure everyone will be awed by her perfectness. In My Dreams I Hold a Knife is required reading for fans of Donna Tartt's The Secret History and Amy Gentry's Bad Habits. Initially, I must say that I enjoyed this less than I had hoped for, but still definitely enjoyed certain parts. sᴛᴀʀᴛs ᴀs ᴀ ʀᴇᴜɴɪᴏɴ, ǫᴜɪᴄᴋʟʏ ʙᴇᴄᴏᴍᴇs ᴀ ᴡʜᴏᴅᴜɴɴɪᴛ, ᴡʜᴇɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴠɪᴄᴛɪᴍs ʙʀᴏᴛʜᴇʀ ᴀʟsᴏ ʀᴇᴛᴜʀɴs ʜᴇʟʟ ʙᴇɴᴛ ᴏɴ ғɪɢᴜʀɪɴɢ ᴏᴜᴛ ᴡʜᴏ ᴋɪʟʟᴇᴅ ʜɪs sɪsᴛᴇʀ.

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