Thin Air by Kellie M. Parker
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
What would you be willing to do for a cash prize that would pay your way through college?
Would you betray a friend? How about your best friend? Would you lie about skills, goals and accomplishments? Would you kill the competition? Literally.
In Thin Air we meet Emily, whose family has fallen on hard times. Emily is 17-years old and attends a prestigious private school, but with things the way they are, there’s no way she will be able to afford college.
Emily has won the chance to travel to London, along with 11-other students from various private schools, to compete for a chance of a huge cash prize/scholarship, as well as invaluable connections for her future.
She’s just a plane flight away from financial freedom. All 12-contestants board the same flight from Chicago to London, where they believe the competition will begin.
Before they’ve even fully settled into the gorgeous chartered flight however, it becomes clear that someone amongst them would do anything to win.
Two Truths and Lie. You’ve heard of it. Imagine if someone dug up dirt on you and forced you to play? What if there were no lies and all your deepest secrets were revealed?
This contest is no joke. Then the bodies start dropping.
I was really looking forward to Thin Air as it has many tropes that I tend to enjoy and actively seek out. We have private school students, a competition, dark secrets, a locked room mystery and murder.
In theory, this sounded perfect and initially, I was intrigued by the set-up. The story starts at the airport, as the teens are getting ready to board the ill-fated flight. We learn about some of the contestants and our MC, Emily, in particular.
One of the things we learn about Emily is that she’s a bit hyper-focused on her relationship status and the various boys around her. That concern tracks throughout the story, much to my chagrin.
I get crushing on boys. Especially when you are meeting new ones. It’s fun to flirt and get to know someone, imagining the possibilities, however one would think after bodies start piling up, you may be able to pump the brakes on those thoughts for a moment, but I digress.
So, yeah, within the first 15% of the novel, I was intrigued by the set-up. It actually reminded me a lot of Lying in the Deep which I gave 5-stars earlier this year, except set on a plane versus a cruise ship. I was interested in seeing what was going to play out on this flight.
Unfortunately, for me, it just never took off. There were too many characters, who seemed so much alike that it was difficult to track who was who. They all seemed interchangeable. Even towards the end, I would read a name and be like, who ‘dis?
In addition, the thoughts of the MC never tracked for me compared with the circumstances she was in. People were getting murdered. There was an imminent threat to her life. In fact, she was even one of the prime suspects, but she was still just so concerned about the damn boys.
I’m really not sure why that frustrated me so much, but as you can tell, it did. It was like once I had it in my head, it’s all I could think about and the whole thing just became an annoyance.
It ended up taking me just a few days short of a month to read. There were moments where I was invested, but as soon as I put it down, I would have to force myself to pick it up again. There was nothing drawing me back in.
I’m not sure if that can solely be blamed on my dislike for the MC, or something more. The premise was great, but I just didn’t feel the execution delivered all it could have.
I love YA Thrillers. I read a lot of them. I know some of you may be thinking, I’m old, this wasn’t written for me and I get that, but I’m not lying when I say that I love this genre.
I am constantly searching out new authors in this space to obsessed over. Sadly, this one was a disappointment for me. I couldn’t wait for it to be over and it certainly wasn’t over soon enough.
With this somewhat harsh opinion out of the way, I will say I know many Readers will enjoy it. If you’re one of them, I am genuinely happy you had a great experience with it.
There’s a Reader for every book and book for every Reader. The fact that this didn’t work for me, really means nothing in the scheme of things. If this one sounds intriguing to you, give it a go. You may end up finding a new favorite.
Thank you to the publisher, Razorbill, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate it!
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