Friday, May 6, 2011

# 23 - The Reunion by Sue Walker

Seven teens meet and spend a few months at a progressive adolescent psychiatric unit. Twenty-seven years later, most of them are living their own mostly successful lives, trying their damnedest to forget that they were ever mental cases, studiously avoiding contact with each other. That is, until a phone call comes for Innes, the last teenager to join that batch of patients. Innes ignored the phone call, despite Isabella being one of her closest friends at the Unit. A few days later, Isabella is found dead, supposedly by suicide. Innes finds out that another patient, Danny has also recently died by drowning, and another almost died by a fire and is now semi comatose.

Innes, sensing a connection between the deaths, investigate the mystery of why her co-patients at the Unit are dying. The narrative goes back and forth between the present and 1977. There is also a narrative that is chronologically behind the "main character's" point of view.

Naturally, the kids are hiding a secret, a dark, huge and stomach clenching secret. Innes is actually the most out of the loop out of all of the former former patients. I guess this was necessary to make her not guilty of what the others did, but it was weird to have a main character not really have anything to do with the happenings, except that she knew the people.

The book is suspenseful and fast moving and fairly unpredictable. There were some twists that I did not anticipate. It attempted to flesh out normally "evil" characters, like the former teen sex offender, which I almost felt sympathy for. However, the secret was truly horrible, made me queasy, and totally erased all the sympathy I might have had for the characters involved.

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