ARC Review: I Killed Zoe Spanos

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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. 

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Review: All Eyes on Us by Kat Frick

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My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pages: 384
Pacing: Normal
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published: June 4th, 2019

Trigger Warnings: Conversion Therapy, Religious Fanaticism, Homophobia, Parental Shunning, Alcoholism, Threats of Outting and Violence.

 

Pretty Little Liars meets People Like Us in this taut, tense thriller about two teens who find their paths intertwined when an anonymous texter threatens to spill their secrets and uproot their lives.

The daughter of small town social climbers, Amanda Kelly is deeply invested in her boyfriend, real estate heir Carter Shaw. He’s kind, ambitious, the town golden boy—but he’s far from perfect. Because behind Amanda’s back, Carter is also dating Rosalie.

Rosalie Bell is fighting to remain true to herself and her girlfriend—while concealing her identity from her Christian fundamentalist parents. After years spent in and out of conversion “therapy,” her own safety is her top priority. But maintaining a fake, straight relationship is killing her from the inside.

When an anonymous texter ropes Amanda and Rosalie into a bid to take Carter down, the girls become collateral damage—and unlikely allies in a fight to unmask their stalker before Private uproots their lives. – Snyopsis from Goodreads. 

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PRIVATE NUMBER: You shouldn’t have ignored me. Now look what you made me do…

I went on a splurge at the bookstore in June and kind of was grabbing at stuff, whatever looked good to me.  Screw the Goodreads ratings – I was just buying blind.  This one was on the books that I hadn’t heard of prior but looked like fun, so was my blind buy worth it? Well, Kind of.

All Eye on Us is a different kind of book and I’m not entirely sure that the author even completely knew what she wanted to write.  This books follows two young girls of completely different backgrounds and we switch off and on with their POVS.

The first girl Amanda is your typical rich snob that is trying to make a perfect life with her douchey boyfriend Carter.  This is much more a financial and social relationship than anything else and both their parents have been pushing it on them their entire lives.  Honestly, if you’ve seen Gossip Girl – whenever Amanda’s POV was up, I couldn’t help but see Blair, so take that how you will.   Then we have Rosealie, who comes from far less money and her family is INTENSELY religious.  Rosealie makes most of her decisions based on fear due to her parents disapproval.  Rosealie happens to be a lesbian and when she tried to come out to her parents at a young age, she was sent to conversion camp.  She now has a girlfriend in secret and dates Carter (yep, that Carter) in public for her parents approval.  Amanda and Rosealie’s lives are about to become entangled even more than just dating the same idiot when they start to both get threatening text messages.

This book started out quite slow and honestly had a lot of pacing issues through-out.  I felt like it didn’t know if it wanted to be a tense thriller or a hard-hitting contemporary novel.  I really did find it interesting and horrifying learning about Rosealie’s past with conversion therapy, but it kept coming and going and didn’t always fit the flow.  It almost felt like two different books at times.  I would read both those books but having them trying to flow together at the same time was a little distracting.  I think the slow pace will throw a lot of people on this one – I mean it takes a LONG time to really build up that tension and I don’t really feel it ever hits a boiling point – not really.

The mystery wasn’t bad, I didn’t figure it out.  Near the end you will laugh for sure.  I can’t say anything but it was cleaver I will say that.  I just wish we could’ve stayed on the thriller path at least for half the book solid. I did like the characters – well the main girls.  The writing was pretty good and I would definitely read this author again.  I enjoyed the book, but it just didn’t come through on all things for me.  If you are interested in this one, I’d probably say pick it up at the library and try it first.

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