You're Invited - Review
*I received the E-Arc from Berkley Publishing from Net Galley. All reviews are my own.*
Have you ever heard of the instrumental version of Kendrick Lamar's Untitled 2 | 6.23.2014? It's an assortment of foreign sounds, alien waves, and instruments clashing against each other, trying to form a recognizable melody. As it starts to crescendos, it's as if the production figured out it needs to work together to produce something decent an audience can familiarize with. It's a dizzying walk through the park until we hear Kendrick yell, "GET GOD ON THE PHONE," and the beat drops, tying every piece of the instruments together to create … This. That's what it was like reading Amanda Jayatissa's sophomore debut, You're Invited.
It's no secret that Jayatissa's debut of My Sweet Girl was my absolute favorite Thriller from last year, and I couldn't stop threatening my book buddies to read it. So I was excited to get my hands on her forthcoming project, You're Invited. It's a story about a woman trying to stop her ex-best friend from marrying her ex-boyfriend of four years. Yea. The audacity. I was interested in seeing how this Thriller would play out because, personally, all I can see is hands, feet, and blood. How dare you!
"When Amaya is invited to Kaavi’s over-the-top wedding in Sri Lanka, she is surprised and a little hurt to hear from her former best friend after so many years of radio silence. But when Amaya learns that the groom is her very own ex-boyfriend, she is consumed by a single thought: She must stop the wedding from happening, no matter the cost.
But as the weeklong wedding celebrations begin and rumors about Amaya’s past begin to swirl, she can’t help but feel like she also has a target on her back. When Kaavi goes missing and is presumed dead, all evidence points to Amaya.
However, nothing is as it seems as Jayatissa expertly unravels that each wedding guest has their own dark secret and agenda, and Amaya may not be the only one with a plan to keep the bride from getting her happily ever after…"
The story comprises multiple POVs and personal one-on-one interrogations when the Bride-to-be goes missing. We are to navigate through the unhinged thoughts and reasonings of the main character while also trying to weed out the gossip provided by the guest's cross-examinations. It was a bit of a slow burn in the beginning and middle, but by the time we got to the meat of the story, it became a fun game of "Who's Crazier?" Everybody had something to say about somebody!
I will admit, this book wasn't hitting as much as Jayatissa's first, but I'm trying to make a conscious effort not to compare previous work with creators. This story was entirely different from her first project, and I think it deserves its credit. I will say that Jayatissa has a style of creating a thrill of perfectly placed but still very random dropped bombs to keep you engaged with the story. I also come to love how she handles her plot twists. When she twists, baybee, that plot turns! I only correctly guessed 25% of what would happen in this story, which is a refresher for me.
Overall I rated this book three and some possible quarter stars. You know, I never tiered a book like that before. I never saw the point in breaking down a half/whole star system, but this one left us with some disarrayed thoughts. I wasn't a fan of the ending; it was muddled. But I did get to see the true villain of this heinous story. Again, it was a slow burn at first, but after a while, I found myself flying through the pages trying to figure out the mystery. So yea … disarrayed.
You're Invited debut on August 9, 2022