Book Review | Going Dark @TBRBeyondTours

A thrilling mystery to end the month with, don’t mind if I do.

Going Dark
Melissa de la Cruz


The Influencer
Amelia Ashley shares everything with her followers – her favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants, her best fashion tips, and her European trip-of-a-lifetime with her hot boyfriend.

The Boyfriend
Josh has no choice but to return home without Amelia after she abandons him in Rome. He has no clue where she went or how her blood got in his suitcase. Why won’t anyone believe him?

The Hacker
To Harper Delgado, Amelia Ashley is just another missing white girl whipping up a media frenzy. But with each digital knot she untangles about the influencer, Harper wonders: who is Amelia Ashley?

The Other Girl
Two years ago, another girl went missing, one who never made headlines or had a trending hashtag.

The Truth
Amelia’s disappearance has captured the world’s attention. What comes next? Watch this space…

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This is my first book by this author and I was so drawn in by the description, there is something about the situation of a popular influencer going missing that sounded kind of fascinating and I was wondering with so many people invested in your life what the outcome of that would be. I think one of the great things about this book is that it pointed me a little in that direction but then turned into this entirely different story which is just as gripping and interesting just not in the way I expected it would.

I will admit, it starts off a little slow, and I got to a point where I wasn’t sure if it would keep my interest. I stuck with it though and as the POVs change and we start to get to know Amelia a little more, I suddenly could not tear myself away from this story. It is tough to say much at all about it because it could be very easily ruined but there were definitely some surprises, and where things felt a bit more obvious it was still quite exciting to find out the reason behind what was happening.

The structure of this is a little different, it includes Amelia’s blog posts and transcripts from her vlog, it threw me a little at first but then it was as if I could hear how she was speaking to her audience, it created the right atmosphere to make you feel like you were one of her followers being updated on her life. I liked that whilst the influencing part of the story gives us the chance to see Amelia’s life and the contrast of what she omits, the story overall points to something so much bigger. It looks at how the media and social media can sway opinion for the better and the worse, and at the differences in coverage depending on race and other factors.

Again I can’t talk too much about the characters because I don’t want to spoil the story, but there were some I liked more than others, I thought the author hit the perfect tone with Josh and Amelia. I liked Harper but on occasion, she felt like a tool to move the story along, I think I had envisioned her as more of an invested follower who was determined to get to the bottom of the mystery and she wasn’t really involved in that way. At certain points, I also felt like things were maybe a bit too convenient for all of them, the way things slotted into place, whilst there was a lot of tension in the second half of the story I feel like this could have been even higher with a few more hurdles.

Going Dark is a thrilling mystery that I did not want to put down, with a plot that manages to be both surprising and a little predictable, but in that way you still have to read to the end to get every detail.

Melissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York Times, #1 Publisher’s Weekly and #1 IndieBound bestselling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for readers of all ages. Many of her more than fifty books have also topped USA TodayWall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times bestseller lists and been published in over twenty countries.

De la Cruz’s novel, The Isle of the Lost, the prequel to the Disney Channel Original Movie Descendants, spent more than fifty weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, fifteen at #1, and has over a million copies in print. Descendants starring Kristen Chenoweth and Dove Cameron was the #1 cable TV movie of 2015, and #5 of all time, and its soundtrack the #1 bestselling album on iTunes. The series’ subsequent books, Return to the Isle of the Lost and Rise of the Isle of the Lost, were also New York Times bestsellers for many weeks.    

De la Cruz is also known for the Blue Bloods series (with three million copies in print), and the Witches of East End series. Her recent book releases include New York Times bestsellers The Queen’s Assassin and the Alex & Eliza seriesas well as the graphic novel Gotham High and The Birthday Girl.   Her next release is her upcoming middle grade series launch, Never After, publishing December 2020.

De la Cruz’s Hallmark Christmas movies, Christmas in Angel Falls and Pride Prejudice and Mistletoe (based on her novel), were both the top-rated movies for their Christmas season on the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. 29 Dates, her YA novel about a Korean exchange student, will soon be a feature-length movie on Disney’s streaming service, Disney+.

Melissa is also the founder and principal of Melissa de la Cruz Studio at Disney Publishing, which will create and package books in every genre and age range but with a focus on middle grade and young adult, from a diverse group of new and established writers that will appeal to all the platforms across the Disney company for a global audience. The projects will reflect Melissa’s humor and taste and range from adventure, romance and fantasy to contemporary stories.

Melissa de la Cruz is the co-director of YALLFEST (Charleston, SC) and the co-founder of YALLWEST (Santa Monica, CA), the two largest and most vibrant young adult book festivals in the country, attracting more than 30,000 readers every year.

Melissa de la Cruz grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. At Columbia University, she majored in art history and English. She lives in West Hollywood with her husband and daughter.

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