The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong // Scary in a Realistic Way

Tuesday, 10 November 2015
The Masked Truth, by Kelley Armstrong
Publication: October 13, 2015, by Doubleday Canada
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed

Riley Vasquez is haunted by the brutal murder of the couple she was babysitting for.
Max Cross is suffering under the shadow of a life-altering diagnosis he doesn’t dare reveal.
The last thing either of them wants is to spend a weekend away at a therapy camp alongside five other teens with “issues.” But that’s exactly where they are when three masked men burst in to take the group hostage.
The building has no windows. The exits are sealed shut. Their phones are gone. And their captors are on a killing spree.
Riley and Max know that if they can’t get out, they’ll be next—but they’re about to discover that even escape doesn’t equal freedom.

My Thoughts:

I had to pick this up because I have never read a book that deals with a hostage. This is the most wonderful kickass book that I've read in ages, even though I'm not a Kelley Armstrong fan as many are. I've tried reading her high fantasy/urban fantasy stories that are mixed with paranormal and they are just not for me. The Masked Truth is a newer take on a wonderful story that I just cannot get out of my head. This is going to haunt you for ages and ages to come. It's utter brilliance, to be quite honest. I don't know if you'll ever turn back from reading horror/thriller stories like this one.

Kelley Armstrong begins this story with a whirl. Riley, the main character's life is practically going through bad and horrible things as the story goes on, and it all begins with her losing her dad. Afterwards, she witnesses the murder of the parents of the girl she's babysitting, and this definitely scars her for life. Now, she's off for a therapy get-to-know-each-other conference thing at this dorm for a weekend, and she's part of a hostage. A gun before her head, crazy men doing killing sprees, basically. How is she supposed to get out when there are no cell phones, and no way out for an entire weekend where anything can happen in a split second?

"Hell is being the girl who did nothing, who has to live with that guilt. Worse, having to live as a hero, listen to people tell me how brave I was and how I saved that little girl, and all I want to do is shake them and say, "I hid under the freaking bed!" (7)

It's rare to read a book about guilt, because the main character or one of the characters had to have done something remarkable but them feeling bad about it constantly because things could have gone around differently. This was a perfect example of it, where a character dealt with PTSD for a while, and then things get even worse when she's tricked and a hostage happens... and she kind of falls in love.

I don't know how many times I'm going to have to say it but... I don't support the romance that Armstrong creates in this novel. Max and Riley are horrible together, and I never liked him anyway. Once the plot twist comes and the intrigue is clear, you need to brace yourself for anger and a horrified expression on your face because you will be really mad. This tells you that you cannot trust anyone, even a guy who may seem like the best person in the world at the moment. *shrugs* Their romance was unhealthy, weird, and the problem was that they barely knew each other before they said that they felt like they knew each other for ages. They were barely attracted to each other, and it was more like they were attracted to the ideas of each other. Ugh, this is just so simply weird and absurd that I cannot take it anymore.

This was the best Armstrong book I've ever read, and I'm so glad to say it. The plot was formed perfectly, with a few minor issues that I will not even bother mentioning here. The writing flowed together perfectly, and I couldn't stop thinking about it all even after I finished the story and let Riley's story go.

"Right as rain, old chap. You'll be right as rain. Just as soon as we get these meds sorted. Well, except for the side effects and the fact that you can never stop taking the medications and that at any point they might lose their effectiveness and you won't know it because it'll seem normal to you. Crazy is your normal, Max. Live with it. Or don't. Your choice. Your choice." (123)

Max's character was annoying. Yes, I felt bad for him, but at the same time, he is the one who ruined everything and didn't know how to control himself. And Riley? She was definitely kick-butt and a great impression of a female protagonist in a novel. Woo.

The Masked Truth totally makes sense right now. The title is just one of the most perfect names for what the book really was about through the end. It doesn't matter what your favourite book genre is, you'll love Kelley's newest novel that really shines in the YA world. It was super realistic, and I can just imagine this story popping up on the news, minus the love story that didn't go so well for me, but I honestly don't know if it was supposed to by the end. This is what I call success.

What is the maximum number of times you would give an author a chance when reading their books? I've given Armstrong around 4 now and I am finally impressed!

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