You’re Invited by Amanda Jayatissa
Expected Release Date: August 9, 2022
HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BOY! This was WAYY better than I expected. Kudos. What a ton of fun this was to read!
For a flashback timeline mystery, for a tricky narrator, for a mystery where everyone has motive
When Amaya is invited to Kaavi’s over-the-top wedding in Sri Lanka, she is surprised and a little hurt to hear from her former best friend after so many years of radio silence. But when Amaya learns that the groom is her very own ex-boyfriend, she is consumed by a single thought: She must stop the wedding from happening, no matter the cost.
But as the weeklong wedding celebrations begin and rumors about Amaya’s past begin to swirl, she can’t help but feel like she also has a target on her back. When Kaavi goes missing and is presumed dead, all evidence points to Amaya.
However, nothing is as it seems as Jayatissa expertly unravels that each wedding guest has their own dark secret and agenda, and Amaya may not be the only one with a plan to keep the bride from getting her happily ever after…
The book is almost entirely set in Sri Lanka besides a few portions of current day and flashback that are set in the United States with Amaya. An important note right there: the story does have a good number of flashbacks. You could in fact argue that almost the whole thing is a flashback, as it starts with Amaya being detained and picks up at that point late in the book after establishing how everyone got there. It also intersperses narrated chapters with interview transcripts of people in the story, usually one seen in the previous narrated chapter. I loved this, as I find some variation in the type of text gives the story a lot more texture (texture 😁).
The setting does come into play a bit, particularly with language and customs. Most of the commentary is about the heat, and it is largely set in a fancy hotel, so there’s not a lot of “sightseeing” as it were. But ultimately, it does matter that they’re in and from Sri Lanka, so it’s not just a flashy setting.
The reason behind the conflict between Amaya and Kaavi’s family was a bit underwhelming to me, to the point that I actually had to think while writing this to remember what it actually was. It felt so insignificant to me that it took the air out of the breathless fire of the earlier story. When the characters are that dramatic about what to me is not at all worth what they did, it made them seem unlikable and stupid in hindsight.
To be fair, they were mostly all unlikable anyway, but in a deliberate, wonderful way. They all shifted between unsettling and outright menacing over and over so I could never get a read on them. It kept everything flowing and slipping through my fingers as I tried to work out what all the loose ends were. I guessed about ten different theories to each different mystery, and what was most enticing was that I kept getting pieces of them correct. They felt almost true, but with gaps that left me wanting to read more to get the whole picture. If you’d asked me how it would have ended, I would have definitely missed that. If you’d asked me some basic key questions, I would have NAILED them.
► View spoilers
Ones I got:
Is Kaavi dead? NOPE!
Does Amaya want to kill Kaavi? NOPE!
Is Spencer a decent guy? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOPE!
Ones I missed:
Spencer is a pedophile??
Nadia is Amaya’s daughter??
Kaavi is this coldhearted sociopath after all??
The reason they banned Amaya from the family is… because she was raped and kept the resulting child…???
The reason Kaavi and Amaya don’t talk is because they yelled at each other once… -_-
Spencer ends up dead??
NO ONE GOES TO JAIL??
Amaya’s BDSM thing seems to have no relevance to the story besides as a red herring (same with her violent thoughts)??
7 thoughts on “ARC Review: You’re Invited by Amanda Jayatissa (8/9/22)”
Flashback timelines can be a lot of fun! Though I peeked at the spoilers you posted, and I really don’t see how either of those Major Conflicts is really that bad at all. *shrug*
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Yeah they left me scratching my head a little bit, but I was able to just let it go since it was towards the end anyway haha
I don’t usually mind the flashback timeline when it comes to mysteries/thrillers! This one sounds really intriguing and I don’t think I’ve ever read a book set in Sri Lanka before so it makes me even more curious to see how that aspect plays into the story. Glad to hear this one ended up being better than you anticipated. Great review!
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I hadn’t read a book set in Sri Lanka either! To be honest I’d passed on this book from BOTM and then bought it secondhand from someone else when they were done haha but it was one of the better BOTM books I’ve read!