Moment of truth: This was not one of my favorite Kasie West books.
Moment of Truth by Kasie West follows Hadley Moore, an overachieving swimmer who vows to discover the true identity of a masked classmate who ruined her last race. Moment of Truth is the third book in the Love, Life, and the List companion series. While it isn’t necessary to read the previous two books, there will be some spoilers about past relationships in this book.
I was extremely excited when I first saw Love, Life, and the List would be a companion series. Love, Life, and the List ranks as one of my favorite Kasie West books. However, my doubts started with Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss as it was one of my most disappointing reads of last year and one of my least favorite Kasie West books. As a result, I went into Moment of Truth a little more hesitantly than usual for a book by this author.
First of all, I was a little confused at the start. Was this book Moment of Truth or Heroes, Hearts, and Heath Hall? Both titles appeared on Goodreads and an online retailer close to release date. After reading Moment of Truth, I believe the chosen title is the most appropriate. This book strays far away from the first two novels. They are only loosely connected and the parts that are, for me, were forced and tried too hard. I think this book would have been much more successful separate from the companion series so those ties were not as forced.
As for the book itself, the beginning is slow. The masked classmate is extremely secretive and our main character is apparently very intelligent and successful. However, for the first quarter of the book, her only plan is to approach classmates to see if they will tell her the classmate’s identity. Even after several classmates refuse, Hadley still uses the same strategy. It was incredibly frustrating to read the same conversations and plot points over and over without any progress.
Then, readers are presented with a side plot. Hadley’s brother, who died before she was born, often takes priority over events in her life. Hadley struggles with jealously towards her brother and resentment towards her parents for consistently choosing him over her. For me, this was the most interesting aspect of the plot and had the potential to provide a little more depth than typically present in Kasie West’s books. However, I found this aspect presented a little too all over the place in the book and resolved WAY too quickly at the end. Overall, this book struggled with inconsistent pacing and repetition and this aspect of the book was no exception.
As for other aspects of the book: the friendship, the romance, and the “mystery”, they were either too generic to remember or not well fleshed out to meet my expectations. When I think about my favorite Kasie West books, P.S. I Like You, Love, Life, and the List, and The Fill-In Boyfriend, they all contained more memorable characters, interesting plots, and consistent story lines. While I typically breeze through books by this author, I struggled to finish Moment of Truth. I give this book 2.5 out of 5 stars.
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