Don't You CryDon’t You Cry by Mary Kubica
Published by Mira
Review copy provided by NetGalley

From the publisher:

In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she’s the person Quinn thought she knew.

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under Pearl’s spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.

I hate hate hate to say this, but I did not love this book. I am not sure that my feelings for it even approach like. Here’s the thing: I was hoping for a thriller. An edge-of-your-seat, can’t-put-it-down, heart racing, thriller. That’s not really what this novel is. There is a LOT of build-up. A lot a lot a lot. To the point where it almost felt like nothing was happening until the very end when BOOM everything happens all at once. And perhaps because I was hoping for something else, I was disappointed by that.

There are two stories running throughout the book: Quinn’s and Alex’s. It’s obvious that they are connected in some way, but exactly how they are connected is unclear. I have to admit that while I thought I understood the connection from the start, I was very wrong, and I do have to give it to Kubica for that – she definitely surprised me.

I wasn’t a fan of Quinn. Her roommate was missing and it seemed like she still managed to make the entire situation all about her. How about make the situation about Esther? Instead, she kept looking for and finding clues that Esther either hated her, or was angry with her, or was disappointed with her, or was keeping secrets from her – she had the situation so revolved around herself it was just weird to me. And there was a non-romance situation with a guy who had a girlfriend, which just felt like it didn’t belong in the story in any way.

Alex I liked, but he was much more young and innocent, a “good person” in an obvious way, so it’s no wonder I liked him. I understood why he was intrigued by Pearl and hopeful to get to know her better, but it was obvious from the beginning that the whole situation was bad news and he probably should have just run like hell in the other direction. I also think that his back story could have been explored a bit more in-depth, but I suppose he wasn’t exactly the point of the book.

I’m sad to say I didn’t enjoy Don’t You Cry too much. Obviously I finished it, so there’s something, but truthfully it felt way too slow for almost the entire book, just to hit me over the head with a huge revelation at the end. Not exactly what I was hoping for when I decided to read a thriller. I have enjoyed one of Kubica’s novels in the past, though, so I’m certainly not giving up on her!