The spoiler is IN the book.

Summary:

Sisters Gwendolyn and Estella Sulinados come from a huge wealthy Chinese-Indonesian family. During an elaborate birthday celebration for their grandfather, everyone at the part is poisoned and died. Except for Gwendolyn, who is conscious but in a coma at the hospital. As the sole survivor of the, Gwendolyn looks back and relives her memories leading up to the tragic murder in order to figure out how everything went terribly wrong.

BTSYA / Teen Reader (16):
I was initially very intrigued bythe plot and I was dying to know why Estella wanted to murder her whole family. After the first chapter, though, the story lost its initial momentum. I wasn't hooked by Gwendolyn's flashbacks, and to be honest, didn't support the buildup very well because I wasn’t sure how some of her initial memories or events were relevant. Many of  the events and issues seemed to be superficial and boring “first world problems.”

Neither Gwendolyn or Estella seem interesting or intriguing. Overall, there wasn’t anything extremely fascinating or charming about their personalities. A lot of their interaction revolved around business, expensive shopping items ,and family drama or gossip. As the story delved deeper into the family's secrets, you could definitely see more blatant flaws. It helped explain why Estella would turn against her family, but I still wasn’t completely convinced that the evil subplots were a strong enough reason to pull off such a big murder. The build-up was disappointing, and there would have been greater suspense if earlier events had been further developed.

When I started reading this, I was looking for a deeper look into deep-rooted, complicated family relationships, but the execution of the story didn’t fully give me this kind of effect. However, the writing style is nuanced and interesting. The more formal word choices added to  Gwendolyn’s high-status flair. Despite the fact that I found some of the novel lacking and disappointing, the ending is pretty satisfying, and the author did a good job of wrapping up the story.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

If you like mysteries where you know who-done-it up front, this is the book for you! The Majesties is all about trying to figure out the perpetrator's motivation!

Content Awareness Factors:

The novel contains mature suggestive content, references domestic abuse, and is based on murder. The writing style is formal and may not appeal to some readers.


Type of Book:
This is a mystery where readers know the culprit up front; the story is in figuring out the "why."
Educational Themes:

This is an adult crossover book. Teens would read this because they are interested in psychology.

Reading Level:
unknown
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
15 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
15 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 16
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow or skip. This is not a book that will appeal to all readers.

Title The Majesties: A Novel
Author Tiffany Tsao
Publisher Atria Books, Imprint Simon & Schuster © 2020
ISBN 9781982115500
Material Hard Cover
Cost $26.00
Genres Family, Mystery
be the star you are
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