Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Initial Insult (The Initial Insult, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Initial Insult (The Initial Insult, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Initial Insult

(The Initial Insult #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,082 ratings  ·  485 reviews
Welcome to Amontillado, Ohio, where your last name is worth more than money, and secrets can be kept… for a price.

Tress Montor knows that her family used to mean something—until she didn’t have a family anymore. When her parents disappeared seven years ago while driving her best friend home, Tress lost everything. She might still be a Montor, but the entire town shuns her
Hardcover, 370 pages
Published February 23rd 2021 by Katherine Tegen Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Initial Insult, please sign up.
Recent Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,082 ratings  ·  485 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Initial Insult (The Initial Insult, #1)
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-read
**4.5-stars rounded up**

Tress Montor and Felicity Turnado used to be best friends. Not anymore; now frenemies would be a more apt description.

Tress has an axe to grind with Felicity. She wants some answers to a long-standing mystery and she believes Felicity has them.

When the girls where in the fourth grade, Tress's parents disappeared late one night while driving Felicity home from their house.

Felicity was found bruised and bleeding at the side of the road, but Mr. and Mrs. Montor were never se
Feb 04, 2021 rated it liked it
ive seen MMs books all over my GR feed, so i cant believe its taken getting an ARC to finally read one of her stories.

and i was excited about this - i love a good revenge story. however, this goes from being a simple story about seeking information to a big mess. everything that happens is so bizarre, i really dont know what else to think.

you have (view spoiler)
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
⭐4 𝙄𝙢𝙖𝙜𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙋𝙤𝙚 𝙍𝙚𝙩𝙚𝙡𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙎𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙨! ⭐

Included in this book are a town rooted in history, well-rounded secondary characters, a mysterious illness and a prowling wild panther, but the 💛 of this book lies in the two main characters.

𝙏𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨 - in 4th grade her parents drove her then best friend home and were never seen again. She's sent to live with her alcoholic uncle on his trashy wild life zoo. Now a high school senior, she decides to do whatever it takes to find out what really happened to her par
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
before we start, i need you to understand something. i’m a grown ladyperson who grumbles about semantic bleaching and doesn’t bandwagon onto contemporary youngperson slang unless i’m making a comedic point about how out-of-touch i am. i’m never gonna be modern enough to tweet about literally starving to death waiting for a table at the cheesecake factory. so know that when i say this, it's not some casual colloquialism, but after that ending?

i. am. shook.

i am stomach-dropped awe.

i am, to quote
Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Giving five stars to this extremely nerve bending, last standing grey cell destroyer book is real insult! It worths more than that!

McGinnis has her own peculiar, truly original style and genius mind perfectly knows how to blow her readers’ minds! And this book’s storyline and that freaaaaakinnnggg awesome cliffhanger made you question your own reality were true definitions of perfection!

It’s deadly revenge game:
Two narrators: Tress and Felicity: once upon a time they were best friends and now
Mar 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, owned
"Apparently I am very bad at picking friends.
Either I try to kill them, or they try to kill me."

Not a book giving me post-traumatic stress disorder. I have to give this five stars simply because this book dares to do what most YA wouldn't even think of. The cheek, the nerve, the audacity, the gall and the gumption.

Now if you asked me to read a book where someone buries their ex-best friend alive behind a brick wall in the cellar of an old mansion while a house party is raging on the floor above
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an exceptionally well-written YA book that I wholeheartedly recommend. I was a big reader of YA thrillers as a kid (Christopher Pike was my favorite!) and one of the things that was most important to me was that the adult writer not "talk down" to me for being a kid. I wanted my YA books to sound like they were actually narrated by other young adults. McGinnis is *fantastic* at this. She does not underestimate her young readers' intelligence or capability of understanding mature issues. ...more
Diana | Book of Secrets
3.5 Stars — THE INITIAL INSULT gives a modern YA spin to the imagination of Edgar Allan Poe, taking inspiration from several of his classic tales of suspense. In Amontillado, Ohio, at the condemned Usher House, Tress Montor devises a sinister plan to get information out of her former best friend, Felicity Turnado.

Tress's parents disappeared seven years ago, and the only witness was Felicity, though she's buried any memories of that terrible night in her subconscious. So in The Cask of Amontillad
Ellen Gail
The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. - The Cask of Amontillado

Edgar Allan Poe in Appalachia!? SOLD. Mindy McGinnis knows the weird stories my brain wants before I do.

This did not disappoint. At all. Except that I finished it and now I feel a little shell shocked and a lot impressed. Just. What the fuck is this? What did it do to me?

Possibly her best yet.

I've likely said it before at some point, but I'll reiterate he
I’ve read a book by Mindy McGinnis in the past and I was a big fan so I was super excited to get an advanced audiobook from Netgalley for her newest novel!

So the audiobook is told by a synthetic voice narrator until the actual audiobook is published…. I don’t know why they just didn’t wait till they started real production. The voice drove me insane, I felt like Siri was reading to me and it’s not the most enjoyable experience. Hopefully when the final copy is out it will add to the experience
h o l l i s
I think we can all agree that what the actual fuck.

I have such a weird relationship with McGinnis' books. I love that she writes the strangest but often most compelling, unflinching, kind of things. But I seem to either love them, hate them, or not know whether I love or hate them. This is in the last category. And it's a stranger feeling, too, considering this isn't a standalone and there's to be a sequel. Maybe I'll know which camp I fall into after reading book two? Because I will.

I couldn't
Laura Peden
“Welcome to Amontillado, Ohio, where your last name is worth more than money, and secrets can be kept… for a price.”

I listened to this book 5 months ago. I had an early copy from NetGalley; my first ALC with a synthetic voice - not a copy of the official audiobook. I still rated it 5 stars. Mindy is my favorite YA author; her material is definitely on the darker side. The Initial Insult is a Poe-inspired YA thriller that draws from elements of Edgar Allan Poe short stories - The Cask of Amontill
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary audio copy of THE INITIAL INSULT by Mindy McGinnis in exchange for my honest review.***

Small town hi-jinx, secrets and mystery permeate this atmospheric mystery centered around family, friendship and class. Teen girls acting badly, yet they’re portrayed in a sympathetic way that doesn’t excuse their behavior that only Mindy McGinnis can do. “Yes, I can understand why she knocked out her former friend with a brick” is a phrase I never imagin
Dec 11, 2019 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts  ·  review of another edition
'Mindy McGinnis's YA duology, The Initial Insult and The Last Laugh, which blends retellings of Edgar Allan Poe stories in a contemporary Appalachian Ohio setting.'


It was such a weird book.

Insult#1: Because it was one of the anticipated releases I was so utterly disappointed with it basically from page 1. The thing is, Mindy's books have always been a hit or miss for me. Unfortunately, this one is a miss. Though it's not as terrible or weir as Given to the Sea, for example.

Insult#2: The story itself is very... underwhelming. We have two friends(?) who have been acting weird around each other for years. I can't even call them friends to the full extent of t

Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?)
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

The Cask of Amontillado is one of my favorite Poe stories! Mindy McGinnis has written an excellent retelling that kept me on my toes until the very last page. There is so much going on in this book, and I'm not sure where to start! Should I begin with the fact that there's a JAGUAR POV that pops up througho
Bradley (AudioShelf)
I don't know what to say guys. 2.5 ⭐️

I really wanted to love this one because I'm a huge fan of Mindy McGinnis. I also was looking forward to a Poe-inspired YA novel that had me on the edge of my seat with chills and frills.

The pros:
-I loved the premise. I found it so interesting that this poor girl's parent's disappeared and the only person that knows what might have happened to them is her former best friend.
-I also loved gruesome storytelling that Mindy was able to portray with these chara
Dec 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley-2020
So I read The Cask of Amontillado when I was younger and decided Poe was a genius! So when I saw a full length book based on the concept I was thrilled. And I mostly enjoyed it too!! But... Poe really had it right the first time. It was made to be a short story.

This was super interesting even amidst the stupid teens doing extremely stupid things. I even liked the unlikeable characters, but the the ending came and smashed me in the face and, honestly, I didn’t appreciate it. There are going to b
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first you might think you’ve heard this one before: A friendship unravels. One ex-BFF becomes the pillar of popularity while the other is viewed as town trash. Drama ensues.

It’s not quite what you think it is.

But maybe you HAVE heard this one before. Or a story like it. A story you may have read a long time ago:

Told through alternating perspectives, The Initial Insult is a sad and disturbing book. Tress’s parents disappear while driving her best friend, Felicity, home and Felicity claims she
Sep 17, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
bruh this cover is so ugly
Angela Staudt
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up to 4 stars. Thank you to Epic Reads and the author for a finished hardcopy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Mindy McGinnis has such a way with writing that no matter what she writes about I immediately get hooked and just want to read the entire book in one sitting. Tress and Felicity are the main characters of this extremely wild book that is a retelling of a famous Edgar Allen Poe short story. Tress and Felicity used to be best friends until one night in fourth grade
Feb 23, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
3.5 / 5 stars

The Initial Insult is book one of a Young adult mystery duology. It is my sixth book by this author.

I don't think that I've ever come across a YA author who writes such profound and intriguing books. Her books are so unique. And they are always so different from what you expected.

The Initial Insult has two main female teen 1st person POVs: former best friends Tress and Felicity.

The book takes place on Halloween night. The mystery has to do with what happened to Tress' parents 7 year
❐ Overall Rating 4⭐ | Narration 😁 = Very Good
❐ Narrated by Lisa Flanagan, Brittany Pressley & Tim Campbell
❐ Listening Length: 7H 30m
❐ YA Contemporary
❐ Mystery/Thriller
❐ Weird AF --like only Mindy McGinnis can do


I originally received an ARC of this or actually an ALC (advanced listeners copy) from Netgalley but couldn’t listen to it at all with the monotone reader that it had. The actual finished Audiobook has three separate narrators...and is a much better performance and can actually be cal
A loose reimagining of THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO, The Initial Insult takes Poe’s classic tale and infuses it with plenty of modern elements while still keeping true to the bones of the familiar story.

Much like Poe’s tale, McGinnis’s centers around two friends and a plan to bury one of them alive. Well, not *exactly* bury them, but merely build a wall around them, literal brick by agonizing brick. Tress doesn’t want to kill Felicity, exactly, just scare her into finally telling the truth about the
*This was not the real narrated audiobook*
This was a surprise offer to read and review The Initial Insult prior to publication, not by visually reading it, but by listening to an early synthetic voice release of the eARC. The voice was difficult at times to follow, causing me to go back to be certain that I heard something correctly. I think this was also due to this wild story!
There are multiple POVs and one of them is an actual cat. Crazy right? But essentially, without spoiling those who lik
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2021-shelf, horror
What do you get when you mix an angst-ridden Appalachian teen horror with Poe's The Cask of Amontillado?

The Initial Insult.

All told, I really enjoyed this, but then, I was in the mood for extreme cattiness, thousands of miscommunications, and the devolution from love to hate. Fortunately, this YA horror/thriller definitely fits that bill.

I won't say it is the most unique thing in the world since I've personally read something like 7 books very similar to this in the last two years, but if you ha
Danielle (always_read_the_end_first)
Wow. This was very intense. All the trigger warning beware. I enjoyed this soooo much. It reminded me of SADIE!!! It left me feeling gutted like Sadie did. Thank you so much for this ARC! It was left open ended and there will be a sequel surprisingly.
Jan 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anticipated-2021
This was such an interesting mystery thriller that I really enjoyed! I really loved the complicated friend and family dynamics and I was honestly scared while reading it. I really loved the atmosphere and the subtle tension that built throughout the story. There are a lot of trigger warnings so be careful going into this but I would definitely recommend it.

TW: kidnapping, Torture, Blood, Gore, Graphic description of injuries, Alcohol and Drug use, Neglect, A character deals with seizures, s
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received an audiobook copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
4.5 stars
Wow what a ride. This was definitely a thriller!
This book jumps around in time A LOT, so if you don't like that, this book may not be for you, but if you do like that or can wrap your head around it, read it! In present day, one of the main characters Tress has knocked out and chained her former best friend (and other main character) Felicity to the wall of a basement in an abandoned house where a
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 14-and-15
Thanks to the publisher for providing an audio galley of The Initial Insult in exchange for an honest review.

This was weird. I mean obviously a YA, 2 book adaptation of The Cask of Amontillado is bound to be weird but oh my god was this weird in the best way possible.

Told in 3 points of view, 1 belonging to rich, popular Felicity, another belonging to her ex-best friend Tress, and the 3rd belonging to a panther. Still with me? Cool.

So basically Felicity and Tress used to be best friends but had
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Mock Printz 2022: March Selection: The Initial Insult by Mindy McGinnis 4 48 Apr 12, 2021 01:06PM  
YA and Wine: The Initial Insult 38 28 Feb 11, 2021 08:29AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Combine Listings, Please 3 17 Jan 15, 2020 08:30AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man
  • Pride and Premeditation (Jane Austen Murder Mystery, #1)
  • Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts
  • The Project
  • Twisted Twenty-Six (Stephanie Plum, #26)
  • Unchosen
  • The Foundling
  • Felix Ever After
  • Awkward (Berrybrook Middle School, #1)
  • After We Fell (After, #3)
  • The Pull of the Stars
  • Just Breathe
  • The Forgotten Daughter
  • The Opposite of Falling Apart
  • I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying: Essays
  • Jo: A Graphic Novel
  • My Contrary Mary (Mary, #1)
  • Le Consentement
See similar books…

Mindy McGinnis is an Edgar Award-winning novelist who writes across multiple genres, including post-apocalyptic, historical, thriller, contemporary, mystery, and fantasy.

While her settings may change, you can always count on Mindy’s books to deliver grit, truth, and an unflinching look at humanity and the world around us.

Other books in the series

The Initial Insult (2 books)
  • The Last Laugh (The Initial Insult, #2)

Articles featuring this book

If you're a fan of the mystery and thriller genre and young adult books, recent months have brought a bevy of great reads to your shelves! We...
128 likes · 21 comments