After binge-watching season one in a day, my brother and I have tuned in every week for each new Riverdale episode. The combination of a murder mystery and high school drama excites and entertains us! When I found a prequel novel was being published, I was definitely intrigued.
Each chapter of Riverdale: The Day Before switches off between our four main characters (Jughead, Archie, Betty, and Veronica) and includes little snippets from a few of the minor characters. I loved the extra snippets, which were formatted as text messages, emails, and news articles. It was nice seeing a peak into some of the minor characters as we don’t really get to know them in the show as well as we obviously know our main characters. Of these snippets, I enjoyed Dilton Doiley’s the best as we see why he is the way he is (and get an explanation for the bunker that’s featured in season three).
Of the actual main POVs, Jughead’s was my favorite. His voice sounded the most like his on the show and pulled at the heart strings as he struggles through a difficult time. In Archie’s chapters, we see how he and Ms. Grundy got together (and just how creepy she is in preying on high school students). I mean we know from the show how inappropriate their relationship is, but in this book we are given an extra snippet of where she’s texting another student while also seeing Archie. I think both Jughead and Archie’s voices sounded the most similar to the show since their storylines weren’t anything new.
Veronica and Betty’s perspectives, on the other hand, gave us new information. We catch Veronica on her New York scene right before her father is arrested. She’s definitely spoiled, but we already knew this about her character (and have seen her transformation on the show). More than anything, she’s clueless about what’s about to go down as her parents have kept her out of the loop. We do see Hermione prepping for their arrival in Riverdale, though. Betty’s POV was told through diary entries she kept during her internship in LA. This was all new information as I honestly forgot (or possibly never even realized) that she was gone the summer before season one begins. While we do see parts that are definitely Betty (her writing articles and taking on the mindset of Nancy Drew to do some snooping), her voice just felt off to me and I didn’t really enjoy her chapters. Also, she was assigned to write an article on Veronica and tried to contact her, but I’m pretty sure she had no clue who Veronica was in the first episode??? I can’t remember for sure, but this seems like a potential plot hole.
Overall, fans of the show will want to read this prequel to the series! I recommend reading this after finishing (or even in the middle of) season one as the new information will be the most relevant.
*This ARC was provided to me by the publisher through The Fantastic Flying Book Club in exchange for a honest review.*