Here’s my take on Daisy Chains by Lynn Vande Stouwe, narrated by Louisa Krause.
There’s a dress in Daisy’s closet. Silver. Low-backed. Tiny spaghetti straps. She’ll wear it to prom on the arm of Harris Zandari, the most gorgeous senior at her school.
How did quiet, barely-there Daisy, land Harris Zandari? She watched him. She watched him so closely, and for so long, that she saw things no one else did. She saw through his charm, his bright, smiling face, to the sad, broken person underneath just waiting for the perfect sad, broken girl to complete him.
Daisy was that girl. Not only because her mother died and everyone still felt sorry for her. But because she made herself perfect for him. She fashioned herself into his broken dream girl, and now, they were going to prom. And Daisy was going to make it a night she would never forget.
No one but Daisy knows this, but there’s another dress in her closet, buried in the back. Tea-length. Little cap sleeves.
Right as Daisy Chains begins, we are introduced to a conversation between Daisy and Harris, where Daisy is seen encouraging Harris to commit suicide. The premise is set in today’s world, where we can see the characters in the book talking in Gen Z lingo, scrolling through social media apps, and seeking instant gratification. And Daisy is a tad bit different from everyone around – she’s a sociopath who wants nothing but attention from everyone. For many years, no one has noticed her presence, but as she gets the first taste of increased attention after her mother dies by drowning, she’s willing to put anything on the line for being popular, even her boyfriend’s life.
Lynn Vande Stouwe does a perfect job of portraying Daisy. We know that she’s wrong, we know that she’s sinister, but to herself, she is doing everything for the right reasons, and she believes that she is helping Harris do what he wants. The attention that comes after his death, to her, is just the byproduct of the tragic events of her mother and boyfriend passing away back to back. She doesn’t realize that her intentions are selfish and immoral, which makes sense, as she is a sociopath.
Harris has had a troubled childhood as well as life, as his father constantly belittles him and makes fun of him in the public. Adding to that, he’s addicted to benzodiazepines such as Xanax, a prescription psychoactive drug that Daisy provides to him at all times. His state of vulnerability serves as a perfect plot that helps Daisy push him to kill himself. However, it is not just the persuasion’s success where the story ends, we get to know something more near the climax.
I would like to give this book 3.5 stars out of 5.
Coming to the mechanics of Daisy Chains, the writing is easy to understand and creates a gloomy atmosphere. It is fast-paced and events unfold rapidly, while we anticipate the death of Harris. We know that Daisy will succeed, but we don’t know how, and that serves as a thriller. The narration of this audiobook done by Louisa Krause is extraordinary too and made me hold my breath and perk up my ears quite more than a few times. She helps you visualize the entire story in front of your eyes, which is one of the main reasons I couldn’t stop myself from listening to Daisy Chains till the end.
A young-adult story at its heart, Daisy Chains by Lynn Vande Stouwe – narrated by Louisa Krause – could be one of your first introductions to the mesmerizing world of audiobooks. It’s short, to the point, and delivers an account of a sociopath, something that can keep you awake at night.