The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz was a thrilling yet creepy ride pretty much the whole way through. It was a very enjoyable read that kept me on the edge of my seat and unable to put it down because I wanted to see what secrets would be revealed.
There is such an air of mystery throughout, as there is so much obscurity happening and you have to sift through clues to get to what’s going on behind the scenes. This made for a very engaging read because I just wanted to know what was really going on, who was hiding what, and what was real and what wasn’t.
And you just know things are about to get really creepy when there’s no Wi-fi in the location the characters are at and barely any signal. That’s a recipe for insidious things to start happening. On top of that, a couple weeks in there’s a giant snowstorm which results in everyone being snowed in, and this is where the tension and mystery really amps up. From mysterious disappearances to hints that more is going on behind the scenes than any of the writers knew before signing up for the retreat.
To rewind a bit, the background of this story is that five people have won the opportunity to work with a famous author, all of them writers themselves, and they must work on a novel for a month at this retreat where they also get feedback from Roza, the author. However once they arrive, Alex the main character, there seems to be more going on with the retreat than initially revealed. Furthermore, Alex is dealing with having to face her once best friend, now nemesis as Wren has been accepted to the retreat as well. Though I do understand the plot and tension this adds to this story, I will say at points I felt their conflict was super petty and childlike and it didn’t really enhance the story for me. However, not enough for it to ruin the experience.
As the story progresses there is uncertainty and paranoia for Alex as she no longer knows who to trust, who might be in on the happenings going on at the retreat, or whether it’s all in her head. Not wanting to go in depth into the story and risk spoilers, let me just say you are in for a ride because holy moly does it ever get intense. This book was so good and I was absolutely on the edge of my seat, unable to stop reading. I even enjoy how it ended, with everything well wrapped up yet this hint of a possibility of something more. I recommend this one for the thriller lovers out there, because it is a more than worthwhile read.