Friday, January 15, 2021

ARC Review: The Initial Insult by Mindy McGinnis

The Initial Insult by Mindy McGinnis

Published: February 23rd, 2021
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 0 (audiobook)
Series: The Initial Insult #1
Source: Netgalley eARC 
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the first book of a suspenseful YA duology, award-winning author Mindy McGinnis draws inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe and masterfully delivers a dark, propulsive mystery in alternating points of view that unravels a friendship. . .forevermore. Perfect for fans of 'One of Us is Lying' and 'Truly Devious'!

Tress Montor's family used to mean something - until she didn't have a family anymore. When her parents disappeared seven years ago while driving her best friend home, Tress lost everything. The entire town shuns her now that she lives with her drunken, one-eyed grandfather at what locals refer to as the "White Trash Zoo".

Felicity Turnado has it all: looks, money, and a secret. One misstep could send her tumbling from the top of the social ladder, and she's worked hard to make everyone forget that she was with the Montors' the night they disappeared. Felicity has buried what she knows so deeply that she can't even remember what it is. . .only that she can't look at Tress without feeling shame and guilt.

But Tress has a plan. A Halloween costume party at an abandoned house provides the ideal situation for Tress to pry the truth from Felicity - brick by brick - as she slowly seals her former best friend into a coal chute. Tress will have her answers - or settle for revenge.


Wow, and can I say it again? WOW. I have read This Darkness Mine, so I had an idea of what I'd signed up for with a Mindy McGinnis book but my mind was still blown by her impressive prose. McGinnis has crafted two amazing main characters, Tress and Felicity, that switch POV's throughout the book. This creates an interesting dynamic of perspectives as we settle into a Cask of Amontillado type situation. That's right, someone is getting entombed behind a brick wall Edgar-Allan-Poe-Style! I absolutely loved this premise, and I found the flashbacks to their friendship falling apart (told by both sides) to be completely fascinating.

McGinnis has perfectly crafted yet another psycho-thriller and I can't wait for the second half of this duology. I thought I knew where this was going but was so intrigued by the flashback stories that I didn't care too much, and then BAM! My expected ending did NOT happen. I was so shocked I had to re-listen to the last couple of chapters to confirm I wasn't dreaming! The ending was so abrupt it left me reeling, and it would have been a perfect ending point to the entire story, no second half needed, if I wasn't left with so many unresolved flashback questions. You could say I'm 'dying' to find out what happens next!

**The one thing that I do have to warn about is that there is some sexual content, so this might not be the 'young adult' book for everyone!


  1. I LOVE McGinnis' A Madness So Discreet (and also, omg what a gorgeous cover) but I haven't read any of her other books yet. After reading your review, this one is next on my list! I'm dying to read about this whole being-entombed-behind-a-wall thing (I just finished The Haunting of Hill House recently, actually, and this is giving me those vibes). Lovely review, Nikki!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. McGinnis writes such spooky books, I really need to read more from her too. I hope you enjoy The Initial Insult as much as I did!

  2. Hello !
    You have a nice blog. I liked it.
    If you want you can visit mine and we can follow us back each other.
    See you !


Thanks so much for visiting and if you want, leave a comment. We love reading comments and we will try to respond especially if you have a question!
Happy reading :)