HE STARTED IT | Samantha Downing
07.21.2020 | Berkley
Rating: 5/5 stars
Beth, Portia, and Eddie Morgan haven’t been reunited in years. They certainly have good reason not to want to be around each other. The death of their grandfather has brought these siblings together once again. In order to collect their inheritance, they must embark on a recreation of a cross-country road trip they went on with their grandfather decades earlier. Time with family can be tough, but it can be even harder when all of you are hiding secrets and trying to forget the past. Can they make it to the end of their trip or will things come crashing down around the Morgans before they reach their final destination?
Last year I couldn’t stop raving about Samantha Downing’s debut book, MY LOVELY WIFE. I was thrilled to see that her sophomore book was being released this year and anxiously waited for my pre-order to arrive after being pushed back due to our friend COVID. The wait was so worth it!
Downing instantly draws the reader into HE STARTED IT by dropping them into the start of the Morgan sibling’s road trip. You can immediately tell that there is some underlying tension between the siblings, but you have no idea what’s going on. The story is narrated by Beth, who clearly has a series of secrets of her own that she isn’t quite ready to give up. I appreciated that Downing kept the story to one narrator, while still hooking the reader with many situations where Beth is unreliably relaying the current and past road trip events, as well as the actions of her siblings.
HE STARTED IT is laid out in lightning quick chapters, which truly allow the story to progress at a rapid rate. I loved that there were indications for when a new day of the trip started and when the Morgans entered into a new state. I felt like I knew exactly where they were with the vivid location descriptions and the fun landmarks that they stop at along the way. There were also mysterious journal entries throughout the book that added an element of the past to clarify the present day trip path.
This is such a hard book to talk about without the fear of giving away parts of the plot. It’s a book I highly recommend walking into with little knowledge because even the smallest detail can ruin a crazy reveal, which by the way there are plenty of them in this book! Downing has mastered the ability to keep a reader on their toes and HE STARTED IT is the perfect book to escape reality with!
Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.