Review: The Collective by Alison Gaylin

Featured photo by Jp Valery | Retrieved from Unsplash

WARNING: this review contains mild spoilers. Read at your own risk!

How far would you go to get revenge on your child’s killer? The Collective by Alison Gaylin is likely the most insane story I’ve read this year that dives into that question.

The Synopsis:

“Just how far will a grieving mother go to right a tragic wrong?

Camille Gardner is a grieving—and angry—mother who, five years after her daughter’s death, is still obsessed with the privileged young man she believes to be responsible.

When her rash actions attract the attention of a secret group of women—the collective— Camille is drawn into a dark web where these mothers share their wildly different stories of loss as well as their desire for justice in a world where privilege denies accountability and perpetrators emerge unscathed. Fueled by mutual rage, these women orchestrate their own brand of justice through precise, anonymous, complexly plotted and perfectly executed revenge killings, with individual members completing a specific and integral task in each plan.

As Camille struggles to comprehend whether this is a role-playing exercise or terrifying reality, she must decide if these women are truly avenging angels or monsters. Becoming more deeply enmeshed in the group, Camille learns truths about the collective—and about herself—that she may not be able to survive.”

Read This If You Love…

  • Revenge
  • An unreliable narrator
  • A plot twist

There is strength and power in collective rage.

My Review

What. A. WILD. Ride.

The Collective was one of my November picks for my Book of the Month subscription. It gets fairly high reviews on Goodreads yet mixed reviews on Bookstagram. It sounded interesting to me so I surprisingly chose it over the romance option!

I was very unsure of this book at first. It took me two days to get through the first few chapters. While it didn’t hook me right away, I stuck with it and devoured 300 pages within 24 hours.

I know some of my Bookstagram friends didn’t really like this book. I am so weird about thrillers that I know I have different preferences than most people. This was the kind of thriller I prefer. Less gore and detailed descriptions, more mystery and making me think.

Also the originality is what really impressed me. I have absolutely no clue how Alison Gaylin came up with this plot because it seems so unrealistic but at the same time, I was wondering… would something like this actually exist?!

When the event that I thought would be the resolution happened too early and I still had 100 pages to go, I had a feeling that there was something else going on. The ending is one I didn’t see coming until the final chapters, but I think I had a feeling about it all along.

Overall, The Collective is a very unique thriller that after the first 20-30 pages, hooked me until the very end!

Book of the Month

Like I mentioned above, this was one of my Book of the Month choices! If you’re interested in starting your BOTM subscription, click on this link and we can read together! I love having BOTM because it gives me access to debut authors and early releases, plus it is perfect if you don’t always know what to read next.

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