Alice Lawrence never forgave herself for letting her older sister Claire go into the corn maze alone on Halloween night. A year later, she’s the sole witness at her sister’s murder trial. Alice needs to go to the bathroom and calm down before the trail begins, but she’s followed by a girl dressed as Sidney Prescott. “Sidney” asks Alice is she’s sure about the guy who killed her sister. Alice thinks she knows everything about that night and would do anything to relive it to save Claire.
Be careful what you wish for. Alice is sent back in time and wakes up in the corn maze Halloween night one year ago. This is her moment to fix everything. But Claire living means other can’t survive the night. Alice does whatever she can to protect those she loves and keep her sister in her life. It’s not that easy though because she also has to keep herself safe this time.
And everything is not as it seems. Alice learns things about that night that she wish would’ve stayed in the past. And as the clock ticks toward midnight, her “perfect reality” is further away than ever before.
Wait, what just happened? How to Survive Your Murder was much different than we expected. We figured it would be a race against the clock for Alice and that Claire would be a damsel in distress type character. We were completely wrong.
Alice watches a lot of horror movies, but she hates Halloween. She didn’t event want to go out that night, though Claire insisted. Claire is the pretty and popular girl who always has to be the center of attention. Despite their differences, the sisters were best friends.
While we liked the characters, this book is more plot based. Most of the story takes place on Halloween night when Alice gets sent back into the past. We expected for most of it to take place in the corn maze, but the scenes take Alice all around Omaha, Nebraska.
We expected for the “killer” on trial in the future to not be the villain and we were right, but we had no idea who it would be. Sure, there are some clues about it. However, the final reveal is everything. The culprit has an interesting backstory and gives their reasoning for why they did what they “had to do.” It was majorly messed up.
Alice showed a lot of courage and did whatever she could to protect people. She believes she’s doing the right thing and everything can go back to normal. However, life and the other characters had other plans.
We end the story with an epilogue. And just when we think we can breath again, another plot twist happens on the very last page. It took us a few minutes to recover from the surprise.
Immediately, we knew that we needed a book two. Despite being advertised as a standalone, we’re not giving up hope for a sequel. Valentine cannot leaves us hanging like that. Besides, One of Us is Lying started out as a standalone and it’s now a trilogy. If fans push hard enough, we might get to see what happens to Alice next.
Overall, How to Survive Your Murder is one of the best YA books of 2022. It’s non-stop and has plenty of twists. While we wish we could spoil the ending, it was that good, we don’t want to ruin it for potential readers.