All Eyes On Us, Kit Frick

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We’re at the center of everything. All eyes on us.

Amanda Kelly is deeply invested in her boyfriend, real estate heir Carter Shaw. Behind Amanda’s back, Carter is also dating Rosalie. Rosalie Bell is fighting to remain true to herself and her girlfriend—while concealing her identity from her Christian fundamentalist parents. When an anonymous texter ropes Amanda and Rosalie into a bid to take Carter down, the girls become collateral damage—and unlikely allies in a fight to unmask their stalker before Private uproots their lives.

* * * *
4 / 5

I’d describe All Eyes On Us as a cross between Pretty Little Liars and One of Us is Lying with a dash of The Thousandth Floor. This deceptively simple book packs a lot in and is entertaining, with lots of the drama and the glitz and glamour of the wealthy alongside plot twists.

Everyone wants my attention the second we hit the doors. That’s the price of being Amanda Kelly

All Eyes On Us alternates between Amanda Kelly, devoted girlfriend to real estate heir Carter Shaw, and Rosalie Bell, the girl that Carter is cheating on Amanda with. The twist? Rosalie is a lesbian and is using Carter as a beard to protect herself from her hardcore Christian parents who will send her back to conversion therapy at the slightest suspicion. The two girls have difficult enough lives without a mysterious person sending them texts, demanding that Rosalie tells Carter that she’s been sneaking around with Pauline behind his back, and that Amanda breaks up with him.

Amanda is probably the less sympathetic character of the two, but once the book peels away the glitz of her life to reveal the rather more depressing reality, she grew on me. Her parents are going broke and her alcoholic mother is pressuring her to stay together with Carter despite his pattern of cheating on her because his family is rich. Amanda essentially has the weight of her family’s future pressed onto her. But she’s also quite judgy and looks down on her the lower class people that her friends associate with.

I close my eyes and the girl inside beats her fists against my rib cage, desperate to get out. Just a few more months, I promise her. Just until we’re safe 

Rosalie is more obviously sympathetic: as a young teenager she came out to her parents and they responded by sending her to a conversion camp. She wants to flee her extreme Christian fundamentalist family but can’t, mostly because of her younger sister. Instead she sneaks around with her girlfriend Pau behind Carter’s back and counts down the days until she can leave for college. My one complaint here is the Pau is a bit of a flat character – she smokes cigarettes and is a bad girl, but there’s not really that much to her. She mostly serves to act as another suspect for the texter mystery.

All Eyes On Us was a fun read with a lot of depth. Looking back, the mystery was easy to guess, which is exactly how these books should be.

My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for an ARC of All Eyes On Us.

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