This is going to be one of those annoyingly cryptic reviews, because I don't want to give away the "explosive conclusion." *snort
I see what you were trying to do there, book. Unfortunately, no dice. What you were trying to do has been done many times before and way better. The entire time I was reading this book, it tried to convince me that it was a mindfuck, but you can't fuck my mind, if my mind isn't fucked. Or something.
I just wasn't buying anything this book was selling.
It had this desperate need to make me feel things that I wasn't feeling. Having a MC iterate how dreadful and/or ominous some things are doesn't actually make those things dreadful or ominous. Feelings of dread need to come from careful manipulation via the writing with twists or surprises. Or from the setting. And from other things. The point is that you can't just tell a reader to feel something and expect them to feel it. You need to build up the suspense by making them question everything. You need to convince them and I was thoroughly unconvinced throughout.
What's worse, I guessed a lot of ending right off the bat. So I spent pretty much the whole time waiting for a major disappointment. Granted, I'm extremely intelligent , so that needs to be taken into account, but still. This isn't written well enough to have made the ending as explosive as it claims to be.
The fact that I finished is pretty amazing, because I wanted to drop it numerous times. I pushed through, because I did want to know if I was correct in my predictions. I was, for the most part, but there was a slight twist at the end that I will concede was a nice touch. Unfortunately, by then, I just didn't give a fuck.
I didn't connect with any of the characters, most notably the boring and lifeless MC. I wasn't buying the story, either. I did more eye-rolling than anything else. I was simply exasperated by the end and counting the seconds until it was over. It's frustrating, because there was so much potential in this story, but I just wasn't sold.
I almost feel sorry for this book, because I read it in the wake of mindfuck experts Tana French and Abigail Haas. In that company, this book never stood a chance.
In conclusion, you should definitely read Tana French and Abigail Haas. Like, now.