Book Review / Reviews with Spoilers / Sian Gilbert

Sian Gilbert | She Started It

The Book: 

She Started It by Sian Gilbert
Published June 13, 2023 by William Morrow
Date read: August 15, 2023

The Characters: 

Annabelle, Esther, Chloe, Tanya, and Poppy

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Buy it on | Amazon

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

Annabel, Esther, Tanya, and Chloe are best friends—or were, as children. Despite drifting apart in adulthood, shared secrets have kept them bonded for better or worse, even as their childhood dreams haven’t quite turned out as they’d hoped. Then one day they receive a wholly unexpected—but not entirely unwelcome—invitation from another old friend. Poppy Greer has invited them all to her extravagant bachelorette party: a first-class plane ticket to three days of white sand, cocktails, and relaxation on a luxe private island in the Bahamas.

None of them has spoken to Poppy in years. But Poppy’s Instagram pics shows that the girl they used to consider the weakest link in their group has definitely made good—and made money. Curiosity gets the better of them. Besides, who can turn down a posh all-expenses-paid vacation on a Caribbean island?

The first-class flight and the island’s accommodations are just as opulent as expected…even if the scenic island proves more remote than they’d anticipated. Quite remote, in fact, with no cell service, and no other guests. The women quickly discover they’ve underestimated Poppy, and each other. As their darkest secrets are revealed, the tropical adventure morphs into a terrifying nightmare.

Endlessly twisty, sharply observant, and deliciously catty, She Started It is sure to shock readers until the very end.

How did She Started It end?

Click here for book spoilers for She Started It
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read She Started It, I suggest you turn back now.

The Reveal:

Obviously Annabelle, Esther, Chloe, and Tanya had bullied Poppy growing up. Poppy had collected a bunch of dirt on them and invited them to the island to see if they were still the same before ruining their lives. (She decided that yes, they were.) She had taken their phones when they arrived to the island and posted their dirty secrets to their social media.

Chloe had been sleeping with Annabelle’s husband. Annabelle already knew he was a cheater, but she didn’t know Chloe had slept with him. Poppy also posted a video she took the first night of Chloe making homophobic comments about Poppy’s fiancee. Poppy sent suggestive photos and videos from Esther’s phone to all of her colleagues. Tanya was addicted to cocaine. Esther had told Tanya’s boss about it.

Everyone got drunk, and in the morning woke up to find Poppy’s room ransacked and bloody. They assumed she was dead.

The Ending:

Obviously, Poppy wasn’t dead. They found Tanya dead next, then Chloe. Esther and Annabel both assumed the other was guilty and Annabel killed Esther. Then Poppy turned up to get answers from Annabel. She needed to know who had let them into the art room: it was Oliver, who was on the wait list for Poppy’s art school and would get in if she didn’t accept her spot.

This woman wasn’t Poppy, though. Poppy had killed herself after the art exam. This was her sister Wendy, come to get revenge for her sister. Wendy left Annabel to take the blame: she had booked the whole weekend in her name, told everyone Annabel was the bride, and there was no evidence of her being there.

The Review: 

This bachelorette party popcorn thriller was reasonably entertaining, but entirely predictable. Not a single “reveal” surprised me. It was a fun read and I was hoping to be surprised, but wound up rather disappointed that I had it guessed from the beginning.

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