Everyone does bad things when no one is watching
Mercilessly bullied in high school, Ava knows she needs to put the past behind her and move on, but she can’t—not until she’s exacted precise, catastrophic revenge on the people who hurt her the most.
First, she watches Saanvi. Flawlessly chic and working hard at a top architectural firm, Saanvi has it all together on the surface. But everyone does bad things when they think no one is watching and Ava only wants what’s fair—to destroy Saanvi’s life the way her own was destroyed.
Next, she watches Cass. She’s there as Cass tries on wedding dresses, she’s there when Cass picks out a cake, she’s there when Cass betrays her fiancé. She’s the reason Cass’s entire future comes crashing down.
Finally, Ava watches Mel. Mel was always the ringleader and if anyone has to pay, it’s her. But one tiny slipup and Ava realizes the truth: Mel knows she’s being watched, and she’s ready to play Ava’s games to the bitter end.
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Ava has a confession to make, she knows something about the disappearance of high school classmate, Mel. As she waits to be interviewed by the detective, Ava recounts the choices that led to her sitting in the police station. In high school Ava wanted nothing more than to be friends with Mel, Saanvi and Cass. However, when Ava proves her worth to ringleader Mel, she begins to see the truth of the girls and their friendship. Still, Ava does what she needs to do to stay within their good graces, even when Mel makes life more and more difficult for Ava. After high school is over, Ava can't shake the feeling that she was wronged by the girls; she stalks them on social media and then in real life, watching for when they will make a mistake, something she can use to destroy their life, like they did to her. Some of the players are easy to destroy, but Mel proves more difficult. As Ava carries out the game she has created, she wonders if she has turned into the psycho that they called her in high school.
The Spite Game is a psychological thriller that is all about revenge. There really isn't much mystery here as the book begins with Ava going to the police to confess, the suspense is built as we find out exactly what happened to Ava and what she did. I was glued to the pages as Ava's story unfolded and her retribution is brought to fruition. It did take me a chapter or two to realize that the book is set in Australia and to grasp language and setting differences. The timeline also skips back and forth through Ava's memories as she attempts to piece all of the important events together in her head, which is slightly discombobulating. This style of writing did keep me turning pages, though, as Ava slowly revealed the terrible things that happened to her and how she managed to right them, at least in her mind. As events unfolded, I thought a lot about the psychology of what the girls did in high school along with what Ava did as an adult. It was really interesting to read a book where none of the main character were likable and to see how everything turned out for Ava at the end.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.