I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.
Actual rating: 3.5
The summer after sophomore year, Mattie and Kris dropped off the social radar and no longer went to parties or hung out at bonfires, and they certainly steered clear from popular girl and ex-best-friend Jolene. Now Mattie is a senior and is tired of missing out on things so she takes everything Jolene took from her, including Hudson. But Mattie finds herself drawn to Jolene once again.
Underneath Everything is a captivating read with a beautiful prose. However, I don’t think that Mattie and Jolene’s relationship should be romanticized, which I’ve seen some people do, because it’s not just toxic and obsessive, it’s abusive. Their relationship is deeply disturbing, and Jolene was not a likable character, which I think was the point. Mattie is still drawn to Jolene, unfortunately, but other than the flashbacks, I don’t think that the story progressed all that much.
Overall, not a book I would suggest if you’re looking for a ‘sexy’ book about two teenage girls, because I think that Jolene is a very troubling character who was rather abusive to Mattie, but would instead recommend Underneath Everything if you’re looking for a YA book about complex characters with a mystery element.
RATING: ★★★★☆ (3.5)
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