Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon Review

dmGenre: Adult Fiction, Psychological Thriller

Plot According to Goodreads: Dismantlement = Freedom
Henry, Tess, Winnie, and Suz banded together in college to form a group they called the Compassionate Dismantlers. Following the first rule of their manifesto—”To understand the nature of a thing, it must be taken apart”—these daring misfits spend the summer after graduation in a remote cabin in the Vermont woods committing acts of meaningful vandalism and plotting elaborate, often dangerous, pranks. But everything changes when one particularly twisted experiment ends in Suz’s death and the others decide to cover it up.

Nearly a decade later, Henry and Tess are living just an hour’s drive from the old cabin. Each is desperate to move on from the summer of the Dismantlers, but their guilt isn’t ready to let them go. When a victim of their past pranks commits suicide—apparently triggered by a mysterious Dismantler-style postcard—it sets off a chain of eerie events that threatens to engulf Henry, Tess, and their inquisitive nine-year-old daughter, Emma.

Is there someone who wants to reveal their secrets? Is it possible that Suz did not really die—or has she somehow found a way back to seek revenge?

My Thoughts: This book has a complicated plot. The story keeps you guessing until the end, which I appreciate in books but when I got to the end of this one, I felt a sense of deja vu. Between the ages of 13-16 I was obsessed with Fear Street books…R.L. Stine was by far my favorite author and I couldn’t get enough of his creepy stories. This book felt like a grown up version of a Fear Street book. There are a lot of twists and turns and just when you think you have it all figured out, the author turns it around for one last shocking moment.

I loved the first 1/3 of the book, the plot was fresh and different and the author only revealed a little bit of the mystery, enough to keep the pages turning. Things began to get slow and dragged a bit somewhere in the middle and my interest started to wane. Suz, the character the book focuses on, had the kind of personality that rubs me the wrong way…very overbearing and controlling…I tired of her very quickly.

It’s possible that this book had too many twists and turns (another reason it felt like a Fear Street book to me). I feel like it could have benefited from more editing…the story felt a bit too long and I was just glad to have finished it. Overall, a decent book but certainly not my favorite.

My Rating: 3/5 stars.

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