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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Thriver by Julia Joseph is the story of Alexis (Lexie) Brewer and the aftermath of an explosive and terrifying break-up with her boyfriend, Cal. With a single father who has dedicated all of his time, energy, and attention to an Army career after the death of his wife and Lexie's mother, she is left with nobody to confide in. On her own, Lexie must continue to cautiously maneuver every moment of her time in order to avoid being trapped and alone with Cal, the ex who won't seem to let her go, even when he's moved on to new prey. '“We don’t even know that Cal will be the same way with her.” I crossed my arms, too, trying to be as stubborn as she was. “Hell, he was still following me down the halls yesterday at lunch.”' But to survive in silence, Lexie must actually be able to survive.
Julia Joseph delivers a spine-tingling, suspense-filled teen thriller with the release of Thriver. It's rare to read a book that tackles such a disturbing topic as effectively as Joseph has, all the while balancing the issue with the need for a work of fiction to be entertaining. Joseph does both incredibly well, bringing Lexie to life and making Cal feel terrifyingly real. As a man in his early forties, it's safe to say I am not Thriver's target audience...but as the father of a teenage daughter Lexie's age, I should be. I'd be lying if I said that parts of this book didn't make me physically ill. Isn't that the point, though? When a story is so engrossing, so compelling that it prompts a physical reaction, you know it's one that needs to be shared with the world. Highly recommended.