✰ ✰ 1/2
The hype for this book was what convinced me to give it a try. With an average rating of 4/5 with over one hundred thousand ratings, I was intrigued. YA mystery/crime is not normally a genre I read often but I was excited to delve in to this book and see for myself if it held up to expectations. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed.
Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder.
I had expected something outstanding and instead got… a lot of unanswered questions and a book that I didn’t really feel an urge to pick up again after having put it down. The premise and ending were intriguing however, it felt like a significant portion of this book was written with the intention of creating drama and intrigue in to who had committed the crime. Unfortunately this just didn’t gain my interest.
The attempts to create doubt and drama fell short for me. I didn’t find myself invested in the outcomes of the characters and the speculation of the murderer’s identity fell a bit short for me. I would have preferred more insight in to the lives of each suspect. We were exposed to a significant portion of their home and family lives and yet it still felt like everything was just being told, rather than shown, for their predicaments.
I enjoyed the snippet of romance that was included in this story, which also attempted to show the value of a person as opposed to their past or family’s reputation. The development of the romance was a let down for me though. I wasn’t able to feel much of a connection between the characters in love and the ending left a lot unanswered in regard to their relationship status. It felt like there had been so much build up… for nothing?
I feel like my review is just a rant… but I did enjoy this book. The pace was decent and the story was still moderately interesting. It was enough to keep me entertained and get me to the end within a day of reading. So many others have loved this book, so perhaps it’s just me. I’m not entirely sure yet if I’ll decide to try another of McManus’ books.
// have you read this book? what were your thoughts on it? //