Title: The Beach Party
Author: Amy Sheppard
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: August 30th 2022
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: July 25th 2022
Pages: 299

“When someone dies, they become perfect. The tragedy eclipses any character flaws or bad memories you have of that person. But as much as I tried, I couldn’t forget.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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There was something about the blurb of The Beach Party that spoke to me with its beach setting and one of the people attending the party ending up dead. I was curious to see where the story would go and what happened to Lacey, and I’ve been looking forward to read it. Somehow, this book ended up being a mixed bag for me instead, and unfortunately it wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be. I’ll try to explain briefly why.

I was definitely surprised that this story actually ended up being mostly set five years after the event, and I didn’t see the podcast angle coming either. I’m not sure why especially the true crime podcast wasn’t mentioned in the blurb to be honest, because it seems like such an essential part of the plot in the first place. It certainly was the element I liked most about the story, along with the mystery around Lacey’s death. There were a lot of suspects to keep you busy, although I have to confess that I did guess what happened long before it was revealed.

One of the main issues I had was with the main characters. I REALLY didn’t like Sophie and the fact that she does whatever she wants and doesn’t seem to care or think about what other people want nor how events would affect them. The way she treats Katie definitely doesn’t make their friendship seem credible; Katie herself was quite annoying as well though with her constant complaining and the characters in general lacked development for me. There also was both a love triangle vibe and multiple mentions of cheating; both elements I could have done without. Also, am I the only one bothered by the fact that Katie seems to have been in love with almost all the male main characters at some point?!

I have to say that I struggled with the writing itself as well. There are mainly short sentences and a lot of them aren’t even proper full sentences at that… It made the flow of the story feel haltered and the pace itself dragged in parts. I also wasn’t sure what to make of certain developments in the plot. There were times where something major was uncovered, only to almost immediately brush it under the carpet and never mention it again. It made the story feel incomplete, and the ending itself was a bit lacking for me as well.

All in all I ended up having mainly mixed thoughts about The Beach Party. It wasn’t all bad and the premise and podcast angle were great, but there were other elements that lacked considerably for me. It’s a short read though and it does read quite fast.


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