Narrator: Shimali De Silva, Soneela Nankani, Deepa Samuel
Published by Penguin Audio on August 9, 2022
Length: 11 hrs 35 mins
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What could be worse than your ex-boyfriend marrying your childhood best friend? Getting accused of her murder…
From the author of My Sweet Girl comes a dangerously addictive new thriller about a lavish Sri Lankan wedding celebration that not everyone will survive.
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…
When Amaya is invited to her former best friend Kaavi’s extravagant wedding in Sri Lanka, she decides to attend. Her plan is to make sure the wedding does not happen – Kaavi is marrying Amaya’s ex-boyfriend Stephen.
The tale goes back and forth in time from the day of the wedding to three months earlier and several times in between, especially the week of the wedding. The points of view switch between Amaya in the beginning, an unreliable narrator at best, and Kaavi through the second part. There are also transcripts of interviews with various guests on the day of the wedding.
None of the characters are actually likable. Yes, Amaya has been hurt, clearly, and she has some major issues, but listening to her inner dialogue can be too much. Kaavi is a spoiled brat in a lot of ways, but she runs a charity that she clearly believes in. Stephen seems to be charming, but we all know in books like this, looks can be deceiving.
Nothing is what it seems on the surface. People have hidden motives and are keeping secrets. It’s an intense story with twists and turns, not all of which I saw coming. How well do you know the people around you? How much control do you have over your life? The author did a good job of showing us all the sides without letting us actually know what was going on until she was ready. She’s trying so hard to keep us off balance, to surprise us, to make us uncomfortable.
My favorite part of the book might have been the upper-class Sri Lankan setting. I enjoyed learning a bit about the wedding traditions and the culture. I liked how the aunties’ attitudes differed from Kaavi’s. It’s a good thriller, but You’re Invited is also about family and friendship, both the good and bad.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: