The Creeping and The Telling author Alexandra Sirowy has already proven that she can write rich, eerie stories, but her new novel First We Were IV is going to blow your mind if you’re a fan of mystery thrillers. Check out our review below, then see how you can win the book for yourself!
Dark, edgy, and wholly unpredictable, Alexandra Sirowy’s First We Were IV is the wild summer read you need. I was sucked in right away thanks to the chaotic prologue and from there, this story presented a full spectrum of emotions smothered in suspense.
Izzie, Viv, Graham, and Harry see themselves as outcasts and are just looking to make their lives a little more memorable before graduation. They’ve been best friends since childhood and senior year means they’re close to going their separate ways. Viv is the one with dramatic flair, Graham is the daredevil, Harry is the quiet, sensible one, and our narrator, Izzie, is a little bit of each. There’s one chilling fact we learn about the group early on: By the book’s end, one of them is gone.
They start a special group they call The Order of IV as a chance to turn their hangout sessions into parties and share some devious secrets. That is, until the rebellion begins. First it’s minor ways to impress their classmates and “right the wrongs” of their small town, like getting the pervy vice principal in trouble. It’s not enough. Soon, they turn their attention to the mystery behind a shared trauma: A Jane Doe they found dead on Viv’s family’s property years earlier who they’ve nicknamed “Goldilocks”, a girl the police immediately dismissed as a runaway killed outside of town and dumped, even though signs of her murder were all around town. It’s time to remind the adults who let it slide that a girl died and justice was never served.
After a few successful attempts at getting the school and the town’s attention, The Order of IV gains a following. Students begin creating their own rebellions under the symbol of IV. Another group of students, including Viv and Harry’s childhood bullies, suspect the original four and want in on the excitement. The chance to subjugate the teens who harassed them throughout their lives is too good to pass up, thus The Order forms an initiate level. They force the initiates to embarrass themselves, to incriminate themselves as they paint the town red in an attempt to force out Goldilocks’ killer. But more people means more problems as everyone lusts for control and their own version of revenge. It’s not long before founders and initiates alike are spiraling to new lows in the name of “justice”. When they find their answers and get their revenge, will it be worth the humanity they’ve lost?
First We Were IV is so intensely fascinating because it focuses on the gray areas. Izzie and her friends start The Order mainly out of boredom with good intentions, but once they see that they can do, they can’t let it go. All of the characters are incredibly interesting and you root for their push for justice, but they never feel like the “good guys”. You support them, but you don’t always like them. Each of them wants to use The Order to exorcise their personal demons, but doing so means putting all of them at risk.
With each passing rebellion, the stakes get higher and higher. The story keeps you constantly in suspense as you wonder what will go wrong and when it will happen. Small moments click together to form a terrible picture. It’s more than a murder mystery, it’s an grisly thriller with teeth of its own, all leading to a shocker of an ending. It’s not a light summer read and you’ll be reeling with emotions by the end, but this story is so consuming that I don’t think readers will mind one bit!
RATING: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS
Now that you’ve seen how much we love this book, we want to give you a chance to win it!
Alexandra Sirowy is generously providing one lucky fan with a signed copy of this seriously tantalizing read. All you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter widget below!
This contest is open to US residents only.
MORE BOOK INFO
It started for pranks, fun, and forever memories.
A secret society – for the four of us.
The rules: Never lie. Never tell. Love each other.
We made the pledge and danced under the blood moon on the meteorite in the orchard. In the spot we found the dead girl five years earlier. And discovered the ancient drawings way before that.
Nothing could break the four of us apart – I thought.
But then, others wanted in. Our seaside town had secrets. History.
We wanted revenge.
We broke the rules. We lied. We told. We loved each other too much, not enough, and in ways we weren’t supposed to.
Our invention ratcheted out of control.
What started as a secret society, ended as justice. Revenge. Death. Rebellion.