Quicksand, the upcoming courtroom thriller, by Malin Persson Giolito follows Maja Norberg; eighteen years old and on trial for her involvement in a mass shooting at a prep school where her best friend and boyfriend were killed. I, for one, am a fan of any courtroom style thriller. I also really loved Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult and the synopsis of this title seemed similar. Needless to say, I was very eager to read this one and was thrilled when my friend, Danielle from The Blonde Likes Books, decided to buddy read this title with me!
The novel opens with Maja entering the courtroom after spending nine months in jail awaiting her trial. The story develops slowly and, through flashbacks and testimonies during the trial, the reader puts together the story of what happened the day of the massacre. By the time Maja takes the stand, the plot was laced with tension and I was on the edge of my seat to hear her versions of events.
As mentioned, the novel unfolds in pieces from present day (Maja in jail) backward to the day of the massacre; bits from the past come together as Maja remembers, reflects on her time spent in prison and the prosecution and defense teams lay out the evidence. Although his narrative style was different, I also found it to be a very disjointing. The novel didn’t feel like it flowed as the flashbacks were not sequential and didn’t follow any particular timeline. Also, some of the flashbacks seemed irrelevant and didn’t really align with the story of the school shooting, instead, they set the stage to develop Maja’s character. I didn’t mind this; I just felt like the shooting became a secondary plot and the main events circled around the development of Maja and her teenage angst/love triangle.
My main complaint with this title was the fact that it read like a YA novel. As far as I know, this one was not YA. Maybe it should have been expected since an eighteen-year-old girl did narrate the plot; I just felt like it wasn’t nearly as developed, as I wanted it to be.
Nonetheless, I did enjoy this novel overall and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a YA courtroom thriller or something a little lighter; although the subject matter seems very dark, it is actually a much lighter read than expected. I gave it a 3/5 stars on Goodreads.