Book Review: You're Invited by Amanda Jayatissa

You're Invited  by Amanda Jayatissa Genre:  Psychological thriller, Domestic thriller, Suspense Synopsis:   hen Amaya is invited t...

You're Invited by Amanda Jayatissa

Genre: Psychological thriller, Domestic thriller, Suspense

hen Amaya is invited to Kaavi’s over-the-top wedding in Sri Lanka, she is surprised and a little hurt to hear from her former best friend after so many years of radio silence. But when Amaya learns that the groom is her very own ex-boyfriend, she is consumed by a single thought: She must stop the wedding from happening, no matter the cost.

But as the week of wedding celebrations begin and rumors about Amaya’s past start to swirl, she can’t help but feel like she also has a target on her back. When Kaavi goes missing and is presumed dead, all evidence points to Amaya. However, nothing is as it seems as Jayatissa expertly reveals that each wedding guest has their own dark secret and agenda, and Amaya may not be the only one with a plan to keep the bride from getting her happily ever after…

Content/Trigger Warnings: Violence, trauma, self-harm, sexual abuse, bullying

Overall rating:  ★★★★☆

I was incredibly impressed with You're Invited. I love a thriller that interweaves the police interviews with the situation at hand. I first recall experiencing this with Big Little Lies, and thought it was brilliant. I've continued to enjoy that plot device, and Jayatissa did it really well with this novel. This was my first time reading her writing, and it was a wildly entertaining ride. 

Every moment of this novel was a twisty, turny mess, and each of the characters in this story were absolutely ruthless. I swear, no one actually cared about the well-being of anyone else. It was all about the drama. BUT every character was so well thought-out with a solid back story. I guarantee that even if those back stories aren't on the page, Jayatissa had solid stories for each and every character, no matter how minor, because the way each of them was written was done. so. well. 

What made this book so different from other familial/domestic thrillers is that the setting is part destination wedding locale and part cultural commentary. The majority of the characters are Sri Lankan, but the younger, millennial characters are dual citizens with both Americanized upbringings, as well as able to grasp their Sri Lankan heritage and traditions. It was a really incredible mix of both thriller and something culturally-aware. I absolutely loved that about this novel.

"No one seems to understand that real loss never eases; we just become more adept at carrying a weight that settles deeper in our chests, smiling through it, pretending like we are totally fine whenever someone mentions them."

I'd say my biggest issue with this book was Amaya, who I widely disliked at the start of the book. She grew on me, and I came to really care for her character. And though she was truly an unreliable narrator, there was a big habit of hers that was quite odd and never really addressed. The entire novel finds Amaya constantly discussing brutally harming others, but it didn't pan out with the rest of the story. It bothered me a lot, and made it difficult for me to truly love the book as much as I likely would've otherwise. 

With all that being said, I really did love this book. It was dramatic, thrilling, twisty, and (mostly) everything fell into place like a perfect puzzle. I'd highly recommend this novel.

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