Review: Going Dark by Melissa da la Cruz

Going Dark by Melissa de la Cruz cover shows a girl facing the camera, her face dark. She holds up a photograph of a girl's face partly over hers.

Going Dark
Melissa de la Cruz
Union Square Co.
Published January 31, 2023

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Going Dark

“An intense rollercoaster of a thriller and a searing indictment of which victims get our attention and sympathy.”
#1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Marie Lu

In this ripped-from-the-headlines GONE GIRL meets A GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO MURDER, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz weaves a white-knuckle YA thriller about a beautiful young influencer who vanishes after going on vacation with her boyfriend.


The Influencer
Amelia Ashley shares everything with her followers – her favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants, her best fashion tips, and her European trip-of-a-lifetime with her hot boyfriend.

The Boyfriend
Josh has no choice but to return home without Amelia after she abandons him in Rome. He has no clue where she went or how her blood got in his suitcase. Why won’t anyone believe him?

The Hacker
To Harper Delgado, Amelia Ashley is just another missing white girl whipping up a media frenzy. But with each digital knot she untangles about the influencer, Harper wonders: who is Amelia Ashley?

The Other Girl
Two years ago, another girl went missing, one who never made headlines or had a trending hashtag.

The Truth
Amelia’s disappearance has captured the world’s attention. What comes next? Watch this space…

Told through a mixture of social media posts, diary entries, and firsthand accounts, GOING DARK is a gripping, suspenseful thriller about all the missing girls who fall off the radar, perfect for true crime fans and readers of ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen M. McManus.

Going Dark on Goodreads

My Review

I read this book really, really fast. I think I read the first 150 pages in under two hours? That’s unbelievably fast for me. It’s not easy to write in a way that can be consumed so quickly, so I feel like that in and of itself shows some big storytelling ability.

I can definitely see the comparison to ONE OF US IS LYING. GOING DARK had that same kind of danger-around-every-corner, clues-dropping-any-minute intensity. It was so easy to get swept away in the mystery and in trying to piece together all the clues. I loved that part of it.

The only thing I can say in terms of anything I wish had been different is that I wish the story hadn’t begun with Josh’s point of view. I can see why it had to, though. Once the story began introducing other perspectives, I was totally hooked.

I liked the thoughtful way the story explored how some missing persons cases can become big headlines while others don’t get enough attention from media and police. I also loved the relationship between sisters in the book. (You know I love sister stories!)

All in all, I really enjoyed reading GOING DARK, and I definitely think fans of Karen McManus or Courtney Summers would enjoy this book.

Going Dark on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 12 up.

Harper is a Brown girl. Mignon and her sister are Chinese on their dad’s side.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Strong profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl.

Spiritual Content
A girl sees and talks to another girl who isn’t there. She knows the other girl isn’t real but takes comfort in being able to speak with her.

Violent Content
Some descriptions of a boy acting possessively and in a controlling way. In one scene someone describes holding someone down against their will, killing them. A girl is stabbed in the stomach.

Drug Content
A group drinks wine at a house in Italy. They’re all of legal drinking age.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of GOING DARK in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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