In exchange for an honest review, I was provided a free eARC by the publisher through NetGalley of The East End by Jason Allen.
Released on May 7, 2019
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Official Description (courtesy of NetGalley)
A tragic accident threatens to unravel two families in this gripping novel of suspense and culture clash set in the Hamptons.
Corey Halpern, a local high schooler with a troubled home life, is desperate to leave the Hamptons and start anew somewhere else. His last summer before college, he settles for the escapism he finds in sneaking into neighboring mansions.
One night just before Memorial Day weekend, he breaks in to the wrong home at the wrong time: the Sheffield estate, where he and his mother, Gina, work. Under the cover of darkness, Leo Sheffield—a billionaire CEO, patriarch and the owner of the vast lakeside manor—arrives unexpectedly with a companion. After a shocking poolside accident, everything depends on Leo burying the truth before his family and friends arrive for the holiday weekend. Unfortunately for him, Corey saw what happened, as did other eyes in the shadows.
Secrecy, obsession and desperation dictate each character’s path in this spectacular debut. In a race against time, each critical moment holds life in the balance as Corey, Gina and Leo approach a common breaking point. With an ending as explosive as the Memorial Day fireworks on the island, The East Endwelcomes a bright new voice in fiction.
While parts of it were interesting, I just feel like I couldn’t connect to the story and it failed to keep my attention consistently.
The story is told from multiple perspectives, and maybe it would have been better told from one person’s point of view.
Corey comes from a lower class family. His father is dead and his mom is a drunk who is stuck in an abusive marriage and cleans Leo’s vacation home in the Hamptons. Corey has big ambitions to leave the town, but is fearful to leave his brother and mother behind. Because of his resentment for his situation and his need for escape to pass the time, he starts breaking into the vacation homes of the upper class. Which is how he ends up witnessing Henry’s death and Leo’s secret.
Oh, and his love interest is the best friend of Leo’s daughter, who also happened to see Henry dead in the pool and was chased down by a high and maniacal Leo after being spotted.
These are my impressions of the first 13 chapters. I honestly didn’t want to carry on and finish, but I feel like I owe it to the author to see the story through and hope for redemption.
Getting past the first 13 chapters, I can see where the author was going with this story and the ending was a somewhat redeeming. I especially enjoyed how Leo’s descent into his despair and unhappiness was portrayed.
I feel like I say this often, but this was a potentially interesting storyline for me, but it fell flat and failed to pull me in. I really couldn’t relate to the characters.
Keep in mind, these are my personal opinions. While I may not have enjoyed this story, you might. I give The East End three stars.