Seventeen-year-old Farrah Turner is one of two Black girls in her country club community, and the only one with Black parents. Her best friend, Cherish Whitman, adopted by a white, wealthy family, is something Farrah likes to call WGS–White Girl Spoiled. With Brianne and Jerry Whitman as parents, Cherish is given the kind of adoration and coddling that even upper-class Black parents can’t seem to afford–and it creates a dissonance in her best friend that Farrah can exploit. When her own family is unexpectedly confronted with foreclosure, the calculating Farrah is determined to reassert the control she’s convinced she’s always had over her life by staying with Cherish, the only person she loves–even when she hates her.
As troubled Farrah manipulates her way further into the Whitman family, the longer she stays, the more her own parents suggest that something is wrong in the Whitman house. She might trust them–if they didn’t think something was wrong with Farrah, too. When strange things start happening at the Whitman household–debilitating illnesses, upsetting fever dreams, an inexplicable tension with Cherish’s hotheaded boyfriend, and a mysterious journal that seems to keep track of what is happening to Farrah–it’s nothing she can’t handle. But soon everything begins to unravel when the Whitmans invite Farrah closer, and it’s anyone’s guess who is really in control.
I think social horror sums this book up quite well, it’s not a comfortable read…but at the same time, I really couldn’t put it down. It’s definitely a slow burn of a story, but it is not a boring one – I felt a growing sense of unease with every turn of the page that something sinister was coming, little did I know, it was happening the whole time. It’s hard to know who to trust in a book when there’s more than one villain and that’s what kept me guessing and second guessing everybody and everything. There’s an important message on the intersection of race and class, particularly race that needed to be told and I think this book does it well.