Quicksand is written by a popular Swedish author and has been called thrilling, remarkable and unpredictable. I couldn’t wait to dive in. Right away the book was very hard to get into. The book switches back and forth between current Maja, in jail and on trial to the year leading up to the shooting. The author switches back and forth frequently making it a bit hard to follow. The book moves at a slow pace and isn’t the normal thriller. There aren’t many twists and turns in the story.
However, the book does address some weighty topics like school shootings, immigration, substance abuse, child abuse and classism. Maja’s boyfriend, Sebastian, is the wealthiest student in the school, the son of one of the wealthiest men in the country. Sebastian’s relationship with his father is a love hate relationship. Sebastian wants his father to love him but truly his father just hates him. Sebastian is routinely belittled and ignored leading him down a dark path of substance abuse. Maja stands by his side trying to be the one safe place for him to come to. Unfortunately, there is no saving Sebastien. Maja’s classmate, Samir, is the top of the class and determined to make a future for himself. He is often ridiculed by Sebastien for being the son of immigrants and not being wealthy like the rest of the students. Maja and Samir have a long-standing friendship and he can’t understand why in the world she involves herself with Sebastien. Samir is also the only person, besides Maja, to make it out of the classroom alive.
Quicksand picks up some steam in the last quarter of the book when we find out Maja’s side of the story and some of her feelings come to light. We also find out that Samir will be testifying against Maja, raising the tension even more. Quicksand is a good read if you have the patience to trudge through the first half. By the end of the book you’ll find yourself rooting for Maja despite knowing the whole time that she shot and killed Sebastien and her best friend.