Are You Sara? by S.C. Lalli
Two women named Sara each get into a rideshare. . . but only one makes it home alive. Which Sara was the real target?
The premise of this story started out really strong. I was immediately captivated by the hook — two girls named Sarah, who accidentally get into the others rideshare, and one of them ends up dead. However, after the first few chapters, the story slowed significantly and I never experienced the “can’t put it down” moment that I usually expect from a thriller.
One of my main disconnects with the book was the main character Sara. As a law student in her mid-to-late-twenties, she felt very immature for her age. It wasn’t until the final chapter that Sara figured out who she was and what she wanted from life. And that would have been okay, except that we didn’t get the build-up of that character growth throughout the story. While it made for a good ending, it felt abrupt.
I also wish that the car ride aspect played into it a bit more. This was the most appealing plot point for me and was very hyped up on the cover and in the blurb, however, it fizzled out for the actual story.
All in all, as a mystery, the book was enjoyable. Told with dual perspectives from the two Saras, there was a lot going on, but it was layered well and added to the mystery. I was also surprised by the final reveal, which always leaves me feeling satisfied.
Ultimately, this was an intriguing, slow-burn mystery, and a good start for this debut author.
Readers looking for a suspenseful debut novel by a Canadian author
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. e-ARC provided courtesy of the publisher, Harper Collins Canada, and NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
(From the publisher) Law student Saraswati “Sara” Bhaduri holds down two jobs in order to make her way through school, but it’s still a struggle. She’s had to do things to pay the bills that most people wouldn’t expect from “a nice Indian girl.” It seems like an ordinary busy Tuesday night at the local dive bar until her boss demands Sara deal with a drunk girl in the bathroom.
The two become fast friends. Why? Because they both have the same name. And despite their different circumstances, the two connect. When they both order rideshares home, they tumble in the back of the cars and head out into the night.
But when Sara awakes in her rideshare, she finds she’s on the wrong side of town—the rich side—and she realizes: she and Sarah took the wrong cars home.
With no money, Sara walks back to her apartment on the shady side of town only to discover police lights flashing and a body crumpled on her doorstep: Sarah.
Was Sarah Ellis or Sara Bhaduri the target? And why would anyone want either of them dead?
In this smart, twisty novel about ambition, wealth, and dangerous longing, the layers are peeled back on two young women desperate to break out of the expectations placed on them, with devastating results.