Ride or Die by James Newman

Amelia Fletcher’s life is turned upside down when she discovers her father’s affair. Taking it upon herself, Amelia seeks to warn the woman away, so that things can get back to normal and repairs can be made. But the house on Callaghan Drive, where the homewrecker supposedly lives, reveals that there’s more to the story.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I thank James Newman for giving me the opportunity.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Sitting at around a hundred pages, Ride or Die punished teenage mischief as Amelia, accompanied by her two friends, set out to teach her father’s mistress a lesson. Rather than an epic act of vengeance as intended, extreme consequences were quick to follow, twisted villains putting a halt on their shenanigans. It was an ordeal not totally out of the realms of possibility, especially when it involved juvenile bravado – yeah, I remember being stupid and thinking things were a good idea when they were the opposite. Newman nailed it with the friendship that felt genuine with the inside jokes and the codes only friends could decipher, the story supplemented with illustrations and an inside look into the trio’s text messages. When things really got nasty, it was impossible not to hope for the girls’ survival, but of course it escalated with violence, going to some dark places with an ounce of splatterpunk. I didn’t want to stop reading, Newman’s writing as compelling as I remember, even injecting some quirky humour into the mix. It just worked, and had it been longer, I’d have happily kept reading.

In conclusion: Teenagers walk into a situation that’ll scar them forever in Ride or Die, an addictive novella that pushes boundaries by exposing unsuspecting youth to horrors best avoided. It was short and packed a punch, with a couple of unexpected twists that made it all the more entertaining. Consider it a story that’ll go by in a flash, but will leave a lasting impression. Also, it turns out that illustrations can add a nice touch – I liked them here.

Notable Quote:

True friends didn’t have to say anything. They just had to be there for you.

© Red Lace 2021

Goodreads ~ Twitter

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