★★ 2.5 Stars
Have you ever read something and the whole time was mourning the potential it didn’t reach? Brooke is one of those books.
Maybe if it had tried to be more of a realistic family drama than a thriller, it would’ve been better. The main character I like – she has an acute awareness of how ridiculous the situation and her stepmother are, and I appreciate that she keeps that rather than gives in to Pamela’s obsession. Pamela is okay at first, but after a few chapters is an intolerable character.
I enjoyed the school scenes, and wished it could’ve been focused on her life at school rather than Pamela trying to transform Brooke into a perfectionist, off-puttingly sexist idea of what a girl “should” be. Or at least Pamela should’ve had more depth as a character, that wasn’t so, so offensive and negative. Brooke as a young-adult drama could’ve been great; Brooke as a horror-thriller leaves much to be desired.
Characterization – 2/5
Writing – 3.5/5
General – 2.5/5