If you follow us on Twitter (and you should!), you may have noticed I tweeted about this book as I was reading it. Namely:
— After the Last Page (@atlpreviews) August 11, 2016
But then, I finished it and:
Finished The Cabin. Review coming. I half guessed the ending. Still satisfied. #yalit
— After the Last Page (@atlpreviews) August 18, 2016
Without further ado, the review! (Hey, I rhymed!)
Natasha Preston, The Cabin
Sourcebooks Fire, 2016
What It’s About: It’s their last summer before University, and Mackenzie and her friends decide to have a Summer Bucket List. On that list? A debaucherous weekend at friend Josh’s cabin in the woods.
However, a weekend that’s meant for drinking and having fun quickly turns into a nightmare when Mackenzie discovers her best friend, Courtney, and Josh (Courtney’s boyfriend) dead in the kitchen.
Unable to remember anything that happened the night before, Mackenzie and her friends are the only suspects in the double-murder.
Mackenzie, who refuses to believe any of her friends are cold-blooded killers, works with Josh’s older brother, Blake (and love interest!), to clear their names. But…will they be targeted next?
What I Thought:
First of all,
Of course, this didn’t stop me from requesting and reading it. So, hold your judgment.
I mean, isn’t this what every psychological thriller is made of? That the protagonist doesn’t know who the killer is and begins to suspect everyone? While that’s partly true of THE CABIN, it’s not wholly true. Mackenzie wants to believe that her friends are innocent, but the more she finds out about the secrets they’ve kept, the more she doesn’t really trust them anymore.
Okay, okay… On to my actual thoughts.
The Characters: Mackenzie and her friends are a tight group. And each has their very clear role to play. Kenzie is the one that trusts everyone and loves her friends fiercely. Kyle is the one who protects everyone. Meg is the quiet one that is just always happy go lucky. Aaron is the lover. Courtney and Josh…well, the reader doesn’t really know. All we know is how much the entire group did NOT like Josh because he was basically a jackass.
Blake, a newcomer to the group, is of course the one everyone targets (but Mackenzie). [Of course, Kenz falls for him…but I won’t lie, I kind of fell for Blake, too.]
Overall the characters were almost too stock…but they do start developing personalities that were interesting towards the end of the novel, when the story begins to come to the climax.
The Plot: I’m not going to inundate you with another cliche gif. But…really. And going back to my original tweet, I really thought I had guessed the murderer and I was going to be mad because it was SO CLICHE. But, I was wrong. Which made me happy. (Although I was also half-right, because it was my second guess.)
Basically — the plot is interesting. It’s a B-horror movie in book format. Preston does a great job of keeping the story moving forward. To keep it interesting, she does add several twists and turns in the storyline (secrets!) that come to light and make Mackenzie question her friends’ true selves.
The redeeming part of the novel was the last 10% or so (I was reading on my eBook). There are several twists I didn’t see coming, and Preston executed these successfully. The ending redeemed the cliche part of the story.
Though, I will say, the ending left me like this:
And not always in a good way.
Would I Recommend It? Sure– if you like this type of storyline, it was worth the read. Also, I’ll definitely read AWAKE, which I have on my bookshelves. She’s a good writer.