This book is going to be wildly popular, and deservedly so.
I put down another book I was reading in order to eagerly start The World Cannot Give when I received the ARC because the early reviews compared it to A Secret History By Donna Tartt and A Separate Peace by John Knowles, two books that really affected me many years ago. In the end, The World Cannot Give did not disappoint, but it was slow going at first.
To me, the first half read pretty slow but the build-up was well worth it. The dynamic among the ensemble of characters was unique and familiar at the same time, making it very believable, despite its absurdity. The story is set at an elite Northeastern prep school and the characters are familiar in that they are believable in the setting. Laura is new to the school, so the other characters are seamlessly introduced to the reader as she meets them. Virginia immediately becomes a larger-than-life idol to both the reader and to Laura simultaneously. The boys whom Virginia has under her spell each play their own important role in the story.
The tension slowly builds, leaving the reader to carefully predict what will happen to each person in the story, yet each turn is surprising.
I strongly recommend The World Cannot Give to all kinds of readers, from YA and up. Book clubs will love this one and I predict it will be made into a limited series for one of the many streaming services. I would definitely watch it. I’ve already encouraged my many voraciously reading friends and family to get this book when it is published.
Thank you very much to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the ARC of The World Cannot Give.