I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley.
Eleanor is dealing with a lot in her life, including her family's past as con artists and the suicide of her best friend. She believes that Simon didn't actually kill himself, and she meets Miles, the new guy at school, who believes the same thing.
As she struggles to keep her past a secret, and to use her secret skills acquired from past ventures to get to the bottom of things, she begins to investigate people whom she never would have suspected as potential killers. But Miles might be suspecting her as well, and tensions rise. Will she be able to keep her past a secret? Will she ever find out who killed Simon?
This was definitely an impressive read. While it started out a bit slow and was occasionally hard to follow, it picked up pace very quickly and things were explained in detail later on in the book. I think my favourite part about this novel was the ending when all is revealed. I appreciate that everything ended up having a fairly believable explanation and I don't feel let down by the ending in any way.
As I've noticed with many other thrillers and mysteries, the guessing game the characters were playing during the whole book was incredibly well executed. However, this one stood out to me because it didn't feel overshadowed by romance or shrouded by paranormal events. Often I find that thrillers with paranormal happenings can get old very fast and that it can be super easy to guess what's going to happen. So finding a thriller that kept me hooked without any paranormal elements was a very welcome change. As for the romance, there was lots of romantic tension but it didn't take over the plot or seem forced.
I really liked the main character, Eleanor. I like that she wasn't squeaky-clean, that she wasn't some pure heroine or damsel in distress. While she seemed grateful to have escaped from living her life carrying out con after con, she still participated in morally questionable activities and she lied a lot, which I found added even more thrills to the story because I was always wondering if she might get caught.
Miles was a good love interest for Eleanor, in my opinion, because of how different they both were. While I can't say much without possibly spoiling some parts of the book, I will say that their families are very, very different. With Eleanor hiding her secrets from Miles and his family, this brought about some serious dilemmas for Eleanor which were interesting to read about. I thought it was great that I found myself hooked on the overall plot along with Eleanor's personal issues.
However, I find that Miles was a bit stereotypical at times. He displayed the whole 'arrogant, cocky, overconfident YA male' trope which I found annoying, especially since besides these qualities, he was actually a fairly complex character, considering his past and all. I like when characters have flaws, but these flaws didn't add to the novel or Miles's characterization at all.
I think that it's important to note that there are a few steamy scenes. I have no problem with them, including the fact that they are in a YA book, but some people might so I thought that I should mention this just in case.
Overall, this was an awesome read and I can't wait for the sequel! I'm so glad that I downloaded this book off of NetGalley. If you like YA thrillers or mysteries this is a must read!