Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on June 4, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult Fiction
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Thanks so much to Fantastic Flying Book Club for including me in the blog tour for All Eyes on Us. I’m thrilled to be able to share my thoughts on this compelling read today.
Kit Frick’s latest novel All Eyes on Us is a riveting thriller that kept me guessing from start to finish. It follows Amanda Kelly and Rosalie Bell. Amanda comes from a family of social climbers. The Kellys have gotten themselves into some financial difficulties and are secretly hoping that an alliance with the wealthiest family in town, the Shaws, will put them in better standing. That alliance would of course come about by having Amanda marry the Shaw’s son, Carter. When the story opens, these two have been dating for years and practically have their lives together mapped out, although all is not perfect as Carter is a known cheater. Rosalie is a lesbian in a fake relationship with a boy because she’s trying to fool her family into thinking she’s straight. The deception is wearing her out though and she knows it’s not fair to the boy since he has no idea she’s gay either. The boy of course is our cheater, Carter.
Amanda and Rosalie find their lives unexpectedly intertwined when an anonymous texter, known only to them as “Private,” goes after them both with an ultimatum – either help take Carter down or the texter will take them down. For Amanda, that would mean exposing her family’s financial woes, while for Rosalie, it would of course mean outing her to her family.
Who is this person and what do have they have against Carter that they’re willing to make Amanda and Rosalie collateral damage in their effort to bring Carter down?
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5 REASONS WHY ALL EYES ON US SHOULD BE ON YOUR MUST-READ LIST
All Eyes on Us sounds pretty cool, right? Now I want to dive just a little deeper and share some of the highlights of the story for me. If you love these qualities as much as I do, then All Eyes on Us is a must-read for you!
- A Suspenseful Read Filled with Twists and Turns. The synopsis on Goodreads compares All Eyes on Us to Pretty Little Liars and I think this comparison is spot on. The story definitely has a Pretty Little Liars (or maybe even a Gossip Girl) vibe to it with the anonymous texter and the taunting threats he or she kept making. Just like I was with Pretty Little Liars and A’s identity, I was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out who Private was and was suspicious of pretty much every character in the book. The writing is also fast-paced, which makes this book very easy to binge read. Always a good thing when you’re dying to get to the big reveal!
- Is it a religion or is it a cult? I found the religious group in the story to be extremely disturbing. Every time I read about something they had done to a person in the name of “saving” them, I just wanted to scream. Frick’s presentation of the power of this radical group had me mesmerized though. I spent much of the book fascinated by them and how they managed to indoctrinate so many people to their extreme conservative ways. It felt more like a cult than it did a religion and if someone didn’t follow along with every one of their beliefs, they would be told they’re going to burn in hell.
- Messy, Complicated Characters. Amanda and Rosalie both really drew me into the story because even though they come from completely different backgrounds and on the surface have nothing in common, they ultimately have one thing in common – their parents are trying to run their lives and dictate who they should and shouldn’t be with. Amanda’s parents have her life planned out to the extent that it’s little short of an arranged marriage with her childhood sweetheart, Carter, even though they are all aware that Carter has cheated on her at least once already. Rosalie’s parents, on the other hand, refuse to accept that Rosalie is a lesbian and are determined to “fix” her. The only time she’s allowed out socially is to date boys. Amanda is desperate to hold on to Carter so as not to disappoint her parents, while Rosalie is equally desperate not to let her parents control her. Their predicaments lead both girls to make some questionable, potentially hurtful, choices along the way, but I understood where their hearts were so I was sympathetic to both of them. They are both definitely living in dysfunctional family environments.
- The Dangers of Conversion Therapy. I loved that Frick wasn’t afraid to tackle tough topics in this story. In addition to it being a riveting thriller, All Eyes on Us also goes a step further and exposes how truly harmful conversion therapy is and that it can have lasting negative psychological effects. It was heartbreaking to read Rosalie’s painful flashbacks to when her parents and their minister did everything in their power to try to get rid of her homosexuality.
- A Message That Resonates. The overriding message All Eyes On Us conveys, that you can’t force a person to be someone they’re not, is so important. People are who they are, and if you want them in your life, you have to accept them that way. Trying to force them to be otherwise is just so psychologically damaging.
If suspenseful stories like Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl are your thing, then you should definitely give All Eyes on Us a try. It will keep you on the edge of your seat!
PRIVATE NUMBER: Wouldn’t you look better without a cheater on your arm?
AMANDA: Who is this?
The daughter of small town social climbers, Amanda Kelly is deeply invested in her boyfriend, real estate heir Carter Shaw. He’s kind, ambitious, the town golden boy—but he’s far from perfect. Because behind Amanda’s back, Carter is also dating Rosalie.
PRIVATE NUMBER: I’m watching you, Sweetheart.
ROSALIE: Who IS this?
Rosalie Bell is fighting to remain true to herself and her girlfriend—while concealing her identity from her Christian fundamentalist parents. After years spent in and out of conversion “therapy,” her own safety is her top priority. But maintaining a fake, straight relationship is killing her from the inside.
When an anonymous texter ropes Amanda and Rosalie into a bid to take Carter down, the girls become collateral damage—and unlikely allies in a fight to unmask their stalker before Private uproots their lives.
PRIVATE NUMBER: You shouldn’t have ignored me. Now look what you made me do…
One winner will receive a finished copy of Kit Frick’s All Eyes on Us. The giveaway runs from June 10-June 17th and I will email the winner to get their mailing address. Sorry, U.S. only per tour guidelines. Also, no giveaway accounts. Please note: There are several giveaways taking place during this blog tour. If you enter more than one of them and happen to win multiple copies, FFBC requires that you decline the second book won or face disqualification.
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