I've waxed poetic about my love of Ruth Ware on this blog for years so it's always a good day when I get approved for an ARC of her latest novel. When I saw that I had the digital copy of One Perfect Couple in my inbox a few months ago, I was estactic. There is nothing I hate more than waiting for a book to be released.

I read One Perfect Couple in just a few days and I honestly don't know if I liked or hated it. The premise sounded so promising, but the characters were so deeply unlikable and there was so much unnecessary detail, that I felt like it fell flat for most of it. 

I found myself getting irritated at how slow the story was moving  but ultimately, I finished it albeit after speed reading through a few chapters. One Perfect Couple isn't out just yet, but soon enough -- it comes out next week on May 21st. 

Publisher's Summary

Lyla is in a bit of a rut. Her post-doctoral research has fizzled out, she’s pretty sure they won’t extend her contract, and things with her boyfriend, Nico, an aspiring actor, aren’t going great. When the opportunity arises for Nico to join the cast of a new reality TV show, One Perfect Couple, she decides to try out with him. A whirlwind audition process later, Lyla find herself whisked off to a tropical paradise with Nico, boating through the Indian Ocean towards Ever After Island, where the two of them will compete against four other couples—Bayer and Angel, Dan and Santana, Joel and Romi, and Conor and Zana—in order to win a cash prize.

But not long after they arrive on the deserted island, things start to go wrong. After the first challenge leaves everyone rattled and angry, an overnight storm takes matters from bad to worse. Cut off from the mainland by miles of ocean, deprived of their phones, and unable to contact the crew that brought them there, the group must band together for survival. As tensions run high and fresh water runs low, Lyla finds that this game show is all too real—and the stakes are life or death.

My Thoughts 

As I said above, I don't know how I felt about this book. Lyla, as our protagonist, is really irritating. She's very smart but comes across as she's better than everyone else, and her boyfriend Nico is an asshole. They were very mismatched and it was maddening that even though Lyla knew that, she still went through with being on this television show.

I thought it was very unrealistic that someone would agree to be on a TV show they took at face value; there were so many red flags that it made the story feel incredibly fake. I understand it's a book, but it felt too inauthentic, the same way Zero Days felt. There was just something missing from the plot to make me connect with what was going to happen. I wonder if I would've felt different if I didn't know that someone died... and you find that out within the first few pages of the book.

The story goes back and forth between past and present day, and you see as the cast members are sending mayday calls over a radio for rescue. You read diary entries about the tragedies that have occurred, though you don't know exactly who is writing. There is a large air of mystery to the story, which I appreciate and was a true saving grace.

Ever After Island is not what anyone thought it was going to be; they get much more than they bargained for, and it was kind of heartbreaking. When you really think about what's going on in the story, it's really sad and disturbing which I think also made me second guess how I felt about the book. 

The twists that occur towards the end of the novel were outrageous and so good. Once you get past the middle portion of the book and you start to understand what's going on...you'll be hooked. The twists, the reveal...they made the entire book worth every word. I saw part of the ending coming, but not all of it and it was truly mind blowing. It had me on the edge of my seat...for that alone, I think I can say I liked this book and recommend it to all my thriller fans. 

I know this review is kind of all over the place but that's how I felt reading One Perfect Couple; I liked it at times, I didn't like it at others, but ultimately, the ending made it worth it. It's not my favorite thriller but if you love Ruth Ware, you'll probably enjoy it.


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