Cartwheel by Jennifer duBois

Cartwheel by Jennifer duBois
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Categories: Psychological, Literary
When Lily Hayes arrives in Buenos Aires for her semester abroad, she is enchanted by everything she encounters: the colorful buildings, the street food, the handsome, elusive man next door. Her studious roommate Katy is a bit of a bore, but Lily didn’t come to Argentina to hang out with other Americans.
Five weeks later, Katy is found brutally murdered in their shared home, and Lily is the prime suspect. But who is Lily Hayes? It depends on who’s asking. As the case takes shape—revealing deceptions, secrets, and suspicious DNA—Lily appears alternately sinister and guileless through the eyes of those around her: the media, her family, the man who loves her and the man who seeks her conviction. With mordant wit and keen emotional insight,Cartwheel offers a prismatic investigation of the ways we decide what to see—and to believe—in one another and ourselves.
My Thoughts:

I couldn’t help but think of Amanda Knox while I was reading Cartwheel. Amanda Knox was a young American woman convicted of murdering her roommate while studying in Italy. I didn’t follow her case closely but even I saw the parallels between fact and fiction. 

One of the enjoyable things about Cartwheel is the range of perspectives the author offers us. We’re able to see things from the point of view of many characters. There are myriad answers to the questions raised in this book…the answers only depend on whose perspective you believe.

I wanted to believe in Lily Hayes. I wanted to believe that she was innocent. And I did…most of the time. As a character she was complex, frustrating, and completely believable. 

Cartwheel is a wonderfully written page turner that I wholeheartedly recommend.

Jennifer duBois

Who is Lily Hayes? What happened to her roommate? No two readers will agree. Cartwheel will keep you guessing until the final page, and its questions about how much we really know about ourselves will linger well beyond.

48 thoughts on “Cartwheel by Jennifer duBois

  1. Really looking forward to this one! Especially since I studied abroad in Buenos Aires myself and have also been fascinated with the Amanda Knox story. Thanks for the review–its sounds like I need to bump this up sooner on my TBR list!


  2. I haven't read any books that have subjective or unreliable narration but I think it's a fascinating idea. We each see the world differently and it makes sense that any narrator who's supposed to be telling a story would have their own biases. Thanks for the great review 🙂


  3. About 100 pages into this now – and I love it! DuBois is just so good – she's such a really clever writer. Looking forward to seeing how this turns out. And I hope it finds a wide readership when it's officially out next week!


  4. This sounds really interesting and complex; I love not really knowing the truth and being able to draw my own conclusions when reading!


  5. Okay before I even finished your review I was thinking of Amanda Knox and I didn't follow the case closely either. This sounds really good.So awesome that you've quit smoking!!! That is a huge accomplishment and the money you save can be used for more book purchases :-)I am curious if you will be reviewing The Husband's Secret? The new hubby and I are going for our belated honeymoon next month and I am building my reading list and I'm thinking of this one. Tell me, should it go in my suitcase?


  6. This does sound very like the Amanda Knox story and that itself usually turns me off. But I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it and the mystery elements in this book sound very enticing.


  7. Sounds very gripping, indeed! I didn't know the book, nor did I know the real case you mentioned, but it seems like a thought-provoking story to think about.Thanks for your review!!


  8. I started this book, but had to put it down after only a few chapters. I am not sure why, but it totally dragged for me-took me three days to read less than three chapters. Looks like I should give it another chance!!


  9. The Amanda Knox parallel jumped out at me too. Is the title also an allusion to the Amanda Knox story? One of the famous weird details of that case was that Amanda Knox reportedly did a cartwheel in the police station.


  10. Ooooo, sounds cool! I didn't pay much attention to the Knox trial, but I like that the author write a book so closely paralleling a real-life thing. Adding to my TBR…


  11. Saw this one before and it looks interesting. Am a bit reluctant about the multiple point of view though but you make it sound as if it is not such a big deal. Will add it to my TBR pile 🙂


  12. Wow this sounds like a great book. I do like to read books from multiple viewpoints and the fact that it will inevitably be linked to Amanda Knox will surely colour perceptions even more. Great review.


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