This book reads more like a contemporary rather than a mystery. I had myself all ready to be kept up late at night due to being scared, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. There were so many things I disliked about the book, its hard to find anything that I DID like.
Starting with the writing, I won't say I disliked it, but I won't say I liked it either. It seemed to read more like a MG novel than a YA novel. But ironically, it was a MG novel that I would actually have enjoyed. While reading it I was able to picture everything that was happening. From the suffocating heat in Ludlow and the quirky, fun pre-teen that Ariel was. Her descriptions are fun and easy to read.
As for the plot, I was a little lost. As I said, I was expecting a full throttle gripping mystery and instead I got a contemporary romance. Then as I was reading, it seemed to just get more and more confusing. I was able to pick out what happened to Lillian, but after that, I found myself only wanting to read it because I wanted to know for sure who the killer was. It just seemed that nothing was happening and the mystery took the back burner to the love interest. Which is the complete opposite of what I was looking for.
What I DID like, was the characters. Finny is a broken boy and we all know I love my broken boys. He's different than the others and has a bad boy image, so naturally he is the one suspected for the murders. But he turns out to be a real softy. He doesn't say too much, but the parts featuring him and Hannah together is definitely swoon worthy. I ended up putting an entire paragraph on Goodreads as a favorite quote because I was like in total awe. And then there was Ariel, my favorite character. She was so sweet and funny and I loved reading about her. The only problem I had was the fact that she is mentioned to be 12 but acted more like she was 6 or 7. She was not portrayed the way 12 year olds in this day and age act. It just felt easier for me to picture her as younger.
All in all, I wasn't too happy about the way the mystery aspect of the book was written, but I was happy with some parts of the book. I'm not going to say I didn't enjoy it because I did, but it just lured me to read it under false pretenses. It really served as an eye opener for me, "Don't judge a book by its cover."