Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Sourcebooks FIRE via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review (and trust me, honest is always what you’ll get).
Summary: When Mackenzie and her friends head off to Josh’s cabinet, she’s not too excited about going. They still haven’t forgiven Josh, and they don’t understand why Courtney stays with such a heartless jerk. But, in the interest of friendship, and out of love and loyalty to Courtney, they all go. At the last minute, Josh’s brother Blake joins the group, making things that much more interesting.
All seems to be going well…until they wake up to find that two of them have been murdered. Who did it? Was it a stranger or one of them? What was their motive? How did they get away with it? As the mystery unfolds, loyalties are questioned and a surprising relationship develops. Mackenize knows she didn’t do it, but someone she knows did. Who can she trust?
Review: This book has gotten some sketchy reviews and I gotta tell you, I don’t get it. The writing wasn’t perfect, but it’s more than good enough, and I don’t think it was trying to be literature (by the by, I’m not dissing YA because I love YA, I’m just saying there is YA that is trying to be lit, and YA that’s not. That context matters when judging the quality of a book). It’s a YA mystery, and a pretty darn good one at that. The pacing was good, the romantic subplot is very well done and adds a lot to the overall story, and I changed my mind about the guilty party several times (though I never thought it was Blake). The main characters were well developed and I really liked them. It never got quite “edge of your seat”, but it was better than many of the mysteries I’ve read this year.
My one complaint: I didn’t like the ending. It seemed to wrap up too quickly, and I’m not a fan of cliffhangers when it’s not a series. I don’t like having major questions that will never be answered.
Overall, a really entertaining YA mystery that held my interest.