This is the end of us.
The voice in the back of my mind.
I suck in a shallow breath; my chest rises. The impending snowstorm gathers above us, the air cold on our bones. Below us, stagnant black water whispers our names, excited to seep into our pores. We pant, heavy and even, our hot breath billowing in tight clouds above our heads. Even if we want to run, we can't.
The chanting grows louder. The six of us grab at each other's hands, clumsy and drunk, and bring our half-naked bodies together in unison. Shoulder to shoulder. The white hairs on my arms stand on end, reaching for the clouds. Gemma and Khaled exhale, inhale--nervous, apprehensive.
Tell Me Everything is a debut novel by Cambria Brockman. It's been compared to Donna Tartt's The Secret History, which I have not read as yet. Yes, yes, I know that it is a favorite of many. And I'll also add that, though I don't think the stories are mirrors of each other, I do think that reading this one will probably give me a push to finally try Donna Tartt's book. This is the story of friends at college - six of them. They are Malin, Ruby, Gemma, John, Max, and Khaled. We experience the story from Malin's point of view and she is more than a bit different. She's different inside to what she shows on the outside. She's got secrets, but so do all the others.
The tale is told back and forth in time, from Senior Day in January of their senior year to Freshman Year as they get acquainted and learn to be friends. We also go back further to a time in Malin's early life that was quite dark. I was fine with this way of telling us the story and I suspected some things (maybe most things), but didn't quite guess all. I'm not going to say much else about the plot - would be hard without spoilers. I enjoyed reading this book and I'll be watching for what might come next from this debut author. And, like another reviewer who mentioned they were glad they weren't in college these days, me too!
In her first weeks at Hawthorne College, Malin is swept up into a tight-knit circle that will stick together through all four years. There’s Gemma, an insecure theater major from London; John, a tall, handsome, wealthy New Englander; Max, John’s cousin, a shy pre-med major; Khaled, a wisecracking prince from Abu Dhabi; and Ruby, a beautiful art history major. But Malin isn’t like the rest of her friends. She’s an expert at hiding her troubled past. She acts as if she shares the preoccupations of those around her—dating, partying—all while using her extraordinary insight to detect their deepest vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
By Senior Day, on the cusp of graduation, Malin’s secrets—and those of her friends—are revealed. While she scrambles to maintain her artfully curated image, her missteps set in motion a devastating chain of events that ends in a murder. And as fragile relationships hang in the balance and close alliances shift, Malin must test the limits of what she’s capable of to stop the truth from coming out.