Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 4300
Mystery in NYC
Overall rating
Writing Style
What I Liked:
The first half of the book was a bit slow, but really picked up once Kate began seriously investigating her daughter’s death. The book alternates between Kate and Amelia’s third person perspectives, as well as including Amelia’s texts and Facebook statuses. Kate’s timeline runs from the day of the accident until the mystery has been solved. Amelia’s runs from what started everything through her death, where obviously it has to stop. The inclusion of the texts and statuses was a nice touch, a different view into Amelia’s relationships.

Personally, I found Amelia’s sections more interesting, because they read like a contemporary YA novel, meaning they were more character-focused. Kate’s sections were the mystery part, and will no doubt be interesting to readers who enjoy that aspect more than I do. The mystery itself is interesting, don’t get me wrong. I definitely wanted to know what had happened, and the book became a real page-turner at about the halfway point.

Amelia attends a pompous private school,Grace Hall in New York City. The drama at the school is very Gossip Girl, only more so. There’s actually even a Gossip-Girl style blog called gRaCeFULLY, which discusses the various scandals in the school. That’s not all though; the school has secret societies with hazing and pranks. That was all a bit melodramatic for my tastes at first, but my favorite aspect was the way the book dealt very tastefully with sexuality.

What Left Me Wanting More:
The resolution leaves me with a handful of qualms however. First, the actually reason she died really didn’t work for me. Then there’s the gossip blog, which, actually, seems to have been entirely unnecessary to the plot. Nothing ever happens with the person who was writing it. We find out and it’s just dropped. Um, excuse me, but I would like to know about that. In general, I’d just like a sense about where Kate was left. Did she keep working at her law firm? Will she try to reconnect with that old flame? If not, why were the emails included in the book. If not, why do I care about that?

The Final Verdict:
Despite my few hesitations, this is one that I’ll recommend to mystery readers. They mystery itself is compelling, the candidates for murderer many, and the narrative style engaging.
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