“I basked in the praise and adoration as she dressed me up like a doll.“
Heather Darwent ~ The Things We Do to Our Friends
Clare arrives at the University of Edinburgh with a secret. This is her chance for a blank slate – to finally become who she was meant to be.
And then she meets Tabitha.
Tabitha is charismatic, beautiful and intimidatingly rich. Soon Clare is sucked into her enigmatic circle of friends and their dizzying world of champagne on rooftops and summers in France.
Her new life has begun.
Then Tabitha reveals the little project they’re working on, a project they need Clare’s help with. And Clare can’t say no.
Because they know what she did…
This was pitched to me as Dark Academia… but this isn’t strictly true. Whilst a tiny part of the action takes place at Edinburgh University, mostly the characters are in their flat, or out and about. The city does play a small role, but less than I was expecting, considering the beauty, mystery and intrigue it provides in many works of literature.
Overall, the story is very good – dark, disturbing and intoxicating. Perhaps a little too much is revealed at the beginning, which does detract from the ending somewhat, as it isn’t as much of a surprise as perhaps it should be. However, readers are still left with many questions, as they try to decide who is telling the truth and what really happened along the way to provide this shocking conclusion.
Characters are well rounded and unreliable. Tabitha is addictive and mesmerising; we know that we too would struggle to resist her persuasive ideas. At times, Clare seems naïve, despite her own sociopathic tendencies.
The Things We Do to Our Friends is a fast, exhilarating read with much is left up to the reader’s imagination. It’s never entirely clear what has happened away from the text and as we know that Clare, our narrator, has a past, how can we trust her version of events? The more we read, the more we are engrossed and troubled by the events. Who is the perpetrator? Who is the instigator? Who is the victim?
Well-written, thought-provoking and unique, this psychological thriller is a real page turner that leaves you wanting more.
Thanks to Viking Books for my proof copy. Opinions my own.