Afterwards - Rosamund Lupton I'm sitting here in my recliner, trying to think where I want to start with this review. Should I start with what I disliked first? Or should I talk about how it emotionally made me feel? Or should I just talk about how close this book came to being extra-special, but ended up missing the mark in a pretty big way?The first thing a reader should know before even opening this book is how awkward the writing style truly is. To me, this is where the book ruined itself before it even began. I actually abhorred the writing style. There were several occasions where I slammed the book down and said out loud that I couldn't do it. I know what the author was trying to do. I even respect what the author was trying to do. But it seemed unnecessarily gimmicky and over the top. Rather than try to explain how messed up the second person POV and writing style were, I'm just going to quote it and let you see for yourself. Sometimes that's better."Who did he get to blame my son?" Your anger hurling the words at her."I've no idea what you're on about," she says. "Tell him I want to speak to him," you say. You turn to go."Wait. I haven't finished! I told you, you need to hear the truth.""I have to get back to my daughter."You start to leave, but she comes after you. "The accident in the playground was Robert Fleming's fault, nothing to do with Silas."You hurry on, not listening. But for a moment I think of eight-year old Robert Fleming, who bullied Adam so horribly.I think that's a pretty decent example of what the writing style was like. Now, imagine that over and over again, constantly, throughout the entire book. And there is the problem. I actually had to train myself to deal with the writing style. But I did. I got used to it. I never ended up learning to like it, but more or less endured it. And then there were the random but abundant italics. They were all over the place, and for no good reason. I mean why? Imagine if I just stuck random words in italics throughout this review. Can you picture how annoying that would be? No more to say about that. I just don't understand the point in doing that. It made no sense.But the truth is, even though there is a lot about this book to complain about, I still loved it. The story itself was brilliant, and even though I didn't care for the writing style, it did create this wonderful feeling of foreboding. I felt like I was spending the entire book in the eye of a storm and you just knew something terrible was going to happen eventually. I loved the author's way with words. I loved Grace's observations of everything that was going on around her. Unraveling the mystery slowly and from her point of view was agonizing, but at the same time, riveting. It was mental torture. But in a good way.And the thing is? I know I am completely contradicting myself all over the place in this review. But I don't know how else to do it. Because I still really disliked the writing style. But at the same time, I don't believe this story could have been told in a different POV. It just wouldn't have had the same effect. So I'm conflicted. Let's put it this way. I would definitely recommend this book to mystery and whodunit fans. But don't expect it to be like a standard mystery. Because it isn't. And even though it's close to 400 pages, it does read really fast. It's also a fun ride trying to solve the mystery and figure out who started the fire. I solved it with 100 pages to go, but I didn't arrive at my solution the same way the author did. So there were still surprises to be had for me even though I knew how it was was going to end. Just try it if you think it sounds like something you might like. You may love it.