Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 467
Mystery, Romance + Snark
Overall rating
Writing Style
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NOT LIKE OTHER GIRLS by Meredith Adamo finds Jo-Lynn Kirby first reeling from her ex-best friend’s existence, literally right across the street, and then, her surprising disappearance. Even though Maddie and Jo-Lynn had grown to dislike one another, Jo-Lynn can’t deny her concern over Maddie’s vanishing, and when Hudson, Jo-Lynn’s attractive classmate, expresses his own suspicions, the two team up to find answers. What they don’t realize is their search for truth will force them to reexamine the past, including their own history, and finally, they may have an opportunity to reclaim it.

This novel is nearly perfect. The genre-blending is so unexpected and welcomed. I could’ve never imagined how mixing fake dating into a mystery with heavy trauma would work, but it does! Adamo blends the thrilling, comedic, and devastating elements together in a way that strikes such a refreshing tone. Leading the lighter side of the story is a swoony romance and a whippersnapper of a voice. Right from the first page, I got the sense that I was in for massive sass and snark, and I was not disappointed!

On the other side, the core of the novel is so heartbreaking, as it explores the depths of what many teenagers are facing. Adamo handles these topics with masterful skill and does so in a way that will provide people the tools they need to talk about these issues, as well as recognize them. I love how nuanced all the situations are, and how for most of the “villains” in the story, aside from Nick, there’s, at least, a level of understanding, making everything messy and complex, just like real life.

I truly could not put this book down. The pacing, world-building, and character development are top-notch. Adamo couldn’t have had a stronger debut novel. I highly recommend NOT LIKE OTHER GIRLS to anyone who wants to be swept up in a story. Side effects of reading this book: you may opt into finding out what happens next over sleep. Consider yourself warned!
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