Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, The Cabin by Natasha Preston. Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Ok, so if you've seen the average rating for this book on Goodreads (2.59/5.00) or just read some of the reviews in general, you know that this book is a bit of a hot mess.

The basic premise is that a group of seven teens spend the weekend at a secluded cabin and wake up to find two of their friends dead. The police come and investigate, find no signs of forced entry, and decide that one or more of the five people left is the killer(s). This book *sounds* interesting, but once you get into it, everything starts to go downhill fast.

The book starts off with some tension, one of the group members, Josh, is kind of a jerk who no one really likes (we don't REALLY find out why everyone hates him until waaaaay later in the story, but you know, he said some mean stuff a little while ago so...), and he decides, out of the blue, to bring his estranged brother, Blake, along for the ride. Our main character and only perspective, Mackenzie, literally less than 20 pages in is pretty much in love with this new guy. Already I'm thinking to myself, why must we destroy this great idea with an insta-love romance? But anyways, they make it to the cabin, etc., etc. two people are dead.

Most of the story is actually Mackenzie trying to figure out who did it. She enlists the help of her boyfriend, I mean the brother, Blake. First, she thinks that there must be some mistake, it must be an outsider, none of her friends are killers, you get the idea. She's painfully optimistic and way too naive for an eighteen year old who just found her best friend murdered. After some sleuthing, they decide they've figured it out. Then it's someone else, then it's another person. I was so bored of the plot at this point, I was keeping a physical list, a la Steve (from Blues Clues) style, of every suspect and their motives. Part of me thinks this was the only reason I kept at the book.

Anyways, as I was keeping my list, the story progressed with a lot of really weird romance. Like it was after the funeral, and they wanted to make out. Or things got really emotional, and then they were talking about how they've fallen for each other. I get it was to lighten the mood with so much death and everything, but come on, read the room. I felt no connection between Mackenzie and Blake, there was no relationship there, other than some inappropriately placed flirting. Next thing you know, she's defending him as suspect and deciding that one of her non-killer friends that she's known since she was ten is the killer instead of the guy she's known for a week.

In terms of suspects, I was all over the place. It didn't help that Mackenzie's thought process was all over the place. I thought it was Blake, but that was the obvious choice. Then I thought it was Mackenzie, because it was her perspective. A murder-suicide was also an option. Everyone had motive. I do think though, the killer had the least amount of motive, at least, according to my handy list. They had motive, but I think it could have easily been someone else as well.

I felt like the ending was a bad cliche, they caught the killer, or so they thought! And then the real killer comes forward, but something bad happens, and we end at the highest amount of action we've seen all story.

I originally marked this book as a thriller, but I think I will be un-marking it as such. There was little suspense or thrill in the story. From the synopsis, we knew two people would turn up murdered, so no surprise there. Then finding the killer, there wasn't really a sense of urgency. The detective on the case certainly wasn't too keen on getting much done. There was some cryptic texts, but those weren't really scary, because nobody talked about them, and they were so infrequent, they seemed tacked on as an after-thought. Things didn't start building up to the suspense until probably 250 pages into the 336 page book. It was just getting exciting, and things ended. I don't know if the ending was supposed to set it up for a sequel, or just make the story seem more thrilling than it actually was, I don't know.

I am so sad that I didn't enjoy this one as much as I wanted to. I was so ready to love it, but I just couldn't. The writing style was choppy and confusing, and even though I haven't read it, I found myself comparing the romance to that in Twilight. Blake was this mysterious, 'macho' man and Mackenzie was an innocent, deer-in-headlights girl who hung on his every word. I think this story has good bones, but the romance just killed it for me. Without that distraction, I think I would have enjoyed it a little more, and given it a better rating.

Overall, not my favourite book.