ARC Review: I Killed Zoe Spanos



My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
Pages: 384
Publisher:Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published: June 30th, 2020



When Anna Cicconi arrives to the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe’s life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected—and that she knows what happened to her. Two months later, Zoe’s body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna’s confession is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn’t satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina’s podcast uncover the truth? – Synopsis from Goodreads. 

hearts 3

What happened to Zoe won’t stay buried…

I feel like this is going to be a trend with Kit Frick books and myself.  Read the synopsis, get super excited, rate it three stars.  Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing, but I’ve read two books by her now and keep thinking they’ll be a five star for me and they just don’t ever live up to my inner hyper.

I Killed Zoe Spanos is a mystery/thriller that centers around a girl named Anna, who starts off the book confessing to police that she accidentally killed another girl, Zoe Spanos.  We then go back and forth through-out the book from the past to the present trying to sort out what really happened the night that Zoe Spanos was killed and how Anna fit into the equation at all. We meet all the typical likely suspects – the hot mysterious guy next door, the victim’s friends and family and so on.  There are definitely enough characters to make you question people and trust no one – including our girl Anna.  That’s right, we have an unreliable narrator on our hands.  Anna doesn’t completely know what happened that night and has been having some really crazy visions that she can’t explain.  I think the past and present POVs are done well – I never got confused or frustrated when it was switching back it forth, it was always very clear.

I mostly enjoyed all the characters, they were as developed as they needed to be for a book like this and Anna was quite relatable.  I thought throwing little clues in with the little girl she was babysitting gave a nice little twist, it really put me on edge and had me wanting to shake the kid for more information.  My favorite though was the Zoe’s sister’s best friend Martina.  She has been trying to solve what happened to Zoe, who at the time was only missing, and starts a podcast on the topic.  This really breaks up the book and gives it a cool vibe – I loved the various interviews and evidence and “listening” to the podcast and trying to piece it all together.  I imagine this would probably be a fun audio book.

My biggest issues near the end, it started getting messy and a little too convenient with how far fetched and crazy it got.  I don’t mind if something is way out there, if it works and I just felt like this really didn’t.  There were too many holes and characters that didn’t say something when they clearly would have.  It just didn’t add up.  I also figured out the “who done it” very fast – I won’t go in-depth with that and many other reviewers said they didn’t see it.  I didn’t figure out the whole thing though, so there were a couple surprises that I appreciated.

I would recommend this as a fun, summer thriller – it is a little long at over 400 pages but if you want something easy then this might work for you.

Thank you Margaret K. McElderry Books.  E-ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.



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