Friday, November 18, 2016

Title: This is Our Story
Author: Ashley Elston
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: November 15, 2016
Source: ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.

Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the District Attorney’s Office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.

Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she and Stone investigate—the ageing prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot—she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own.

I've had this ARC for months, but I wanted to wait until I was in the perfect mood for it because if blogging has taught me anything, it's that I am SUCH a mood reader. And I also know from experience that forcing myself to read a book when I'm not in the right frame of mind for it can be detrimental to my mental state, as well as reflect poorly on the book itself. And with a book like this, that I've been anticipating for some time, I didn't want to take any chances. But with hunting season -- or I should say, rifle season -- having just started here in Texas, it finally felt like the right time.

I haven't been writing many full-length reviews lately, but honestly, this book couldn't be summed up in just a few short lines like my regular snippet reviews of late. It's near-perfection means that I just have to regale you with just how amazing this story is. And. It. Is. Amazing.

I like sleep a lot. Sure, when I was younger, I used to stay up till the wee hours of the morning to finish a book in one sitting, but those days are pretty much past me. Except when it comes to a book like this one. It's SO rare for me to forego sleep in the name of a good book, but for the past two nights, I have stayed up reading This is Our Story and I haven't regretted a single second of missed sleep. I don't know that I've read a book that kept me on the edge of my seat like this one in ages...maybe ever.

It's not often that a suspenseful book can actually keep me in suspense, but this novel managed it. There were aspects that I definitely figured out beforehand, but the mystery at the heart of the story -- who killed Grant Perkins -- remained hidden for me throughout the story. Sure, looking back now, I should have seen it, but the red herrings and misdirections were so twisty and cleverly-plotted that I never realized I was being misled. That is quite a talent considering I'm usually only 20% into a story before I've figured out everything. I was just so invested, so captivated by the drama unfolding, that I never saw it. And I'm glad for it because it made that ending so much more powerful.

And let's be real...I was also a bit totally distracted by the romance, which was ill-advised at worst and oh-so-sweet at best. Kate took a lot of chances. I think things would have gone very differently, had she not been involved with the case, but then where would the story be? It wouldn't be THEIR story, that's for sure.

A few other things I want to mention before I just start screaming at you to go get this book because you absolutely have to read it and love it and caress that beautiful cover:

- I LOVED the way this story is told, with alternating chapters from the killer's POV and Kate's perspective. I also loved the addition of interrogation transcripts and text messages between Kate and her prospective love interest. Mixed media to tell a complete story is quickly becoming my favorite format. It's so inclusive and really makes you feel a part of the story. Honestly, I was kind of waiting for the audiobook - which apparently isn't a thing yet - but I'm glad I read the book instead because of the format.

- My husband is an avid hunter, so I worried about how realistic this story would be, how true to real-life it would hold. But it's not really about the hunting experience, more the experience of losing a friend and having it pinned on his four closest friends and what that does to a community, especially a small one like the one depicted in this story. I will point out that I find it hard to believe that these kids were hunting for deer with GUNS on October 5th. I know that different regions have different rules and regulations, but I find that awful early, considering that's usually when archery season starts for deer here in Texas. I researched it a little, just to satisfy my own curiosity, but I'm still not 100% on it so I'm not gonna quote facts. Plus, I get that the kids were all dicking around and probably had no intention of actually shooting a deer that morning, plus they were on private property and the rules are often different in those circumstances, as well. So, probably not worth mentioning, lol. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

- The characters in this novel are just all so wonderfully complicated. Their friendships run deep and their loyalties run deeper still. It was kind of heart-breaking to watch it all crumble, but also immensely fascinating.

- This story DEFINITELY got that small town feel right, where everyone knows your business, sometimes even before you do. And I especially loved what the author did with the "good ole boy" gratifying.

This was my first experience reading an Ashley Elston novel, but I cannot sing its praises enough. If you love a thriller that will keep you guessing, that will keep you turning the pages and then turning them back to double-check things, YOU WANT THIS BOOK.


GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Ashley Elston lives is North Louisiana with her husband and three sons. She worked as a wedding and portrait photographer for ten years until she decided to pursue writing full time. Ashley is also a certified landscape horticulturist and loves digging in the dirt. Her debut novel, THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING, was published by Disney Hyperion in 2013 and the sequel, THE RULES FOR BREAKING, in 2014. Her latest novel, THIS IS OUR STORY, will be published on November 15, 2016.

Find Ashley:

WebsiteTwitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram


  1. I've been hearing so much buzz about this one lately and it sounds so good. I'm so glad I have a copy on hold at my library. Awesome review!!
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

    1. Thanks! It really does live up to the hype. I already can't wait to read it again. :)

  2. I wanted to read this already but now I MUST read it!

    1. Yay! I'm so happy that so many are so excited for this one, especially since it IS so good. :)


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