Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Length: 352 pages
Audiobook Length: 11 hours and 13 minutes
First Published: 2023
Annabel, Esther, Tanya, and Chloe were best friends as children, though life hasn’t come out quite how they thought. When their former friend Poppy invited them to a remote island for her bachelorette party, they are stunned to see how gorgeous and successful she’s become. With lavish accommodations but no cell service, their tropical vacation quickly turns into a nightmare where past secrets refuse to stay buried.
Just from the publisher’s description, you know She Started It is going to be over-the-top, yet Gilbert takes the drama to a level too hard to swallow even for a guilty pleasure revenge thriller. Flashbacks quickly reveal that the four mean girls made Poppy’s life a living hell in high school, making the whole premise of begin invited as bridesmaids (and them accepting) impossible to swallow. Add in completely unlikeable characters with unrealistic motives and a big twist that I guessed early on, and I can only recommend She Started It to someone who wants a shallow but fast-paced summer read.
The party of a lifetime is nothing like what they expected…
Annabel, Esther, Tanya, and Chloe are best friends—or were, as children. Despite drifting apart in adulthood, shared secrets have kept them bonded for better or worse, even as their childhood dreams haven’t quite turned out as they’d hoped. Then one day they receive a wholly unexpected—but not entirely unwelcome—invitation from another old friend. Poppy Greer has invited them all to her extravagant bachelorette party: a first-class plane ticket to three days of white sand, cocktails, and relaxation on a luxe private island in the Bahamas.
None of them has spoken to Poppy in years. But Poppy’s Instagram pics shows that the girl they used to consider the weakest link in their group has definitely made good—and made money. Curiosity gets the better of them. Besides, who can turn down a posh all-expenses-paid vacation on a Caribbean island?
The first-class flight and the island’s accommodations are just as opulent as expected…even if the scenic island proves more remote than they’d anticipated. Quite remote, in fact, with no cell service, and no other guests. The women quickly discover they’ve underestimated Poppy, and each other. As their darkest secrets are revealed, the tropical adventure morphs into a terrifying nightmare.
Endlessly twisty, sharply observant, and deliciously catty, She Started It is sure to shock readers until the very end.
About Sian Gilbert
Sian Gilbert is a teacher and the author of She Started It. Born in Bristol, she currently lives in Birmingham, UK.