Monday, December 3, 2012


Michele Jaffe
ISBN: 978-1595143532
Razorbill, 2010

Plot Summary: Jane Freeman has moved up the social ladder of her new school in the past year. She’s part of the trifecta of popular girls, also including Langley and Kate, and is dating the most popular boy, David. It all changes the night of a big party. A few days later she wakes up from a coma in the hospital after she was hit in a hit and run, her mangled body thrown into a nearby rosebush. The police want Jane’s help in finding the culprit but Jane can’t remember anything about that night. As she struggles to remember and fight through the pain, she begins to get glimpses of things that happened and when she gets a phone call from someone who tells her she is going to be dead soon she starts to fear for her life. The hit and run wasn’t an accident—it was attempted murder. The problem is Jane can’t figure out why someone would want to kill her. Is it all in Jane’s mind or are the remaining memories she’s slowly putting together from the night of the party beginning to point the finger at one of her friends being the potential killer?

Critical Evaluation: I haven’t read any other of Jaffe’s non-mystery books, but I think she should stick to the mystery genre! As in Ghost Flower, we have another character who can’t remember anything who begins to question her relationships with everyone around her. The ending comes as a bit of a surprise but the way the murderer shines in their “let me explain why I’ve done it” moment of glory is superbly explained and the reader sees the hints that were dropped along the way. Jaffe also does a great job with red herrings and the rescue of Jane (from the murderer) is executed in a clever way. I would have liked a bit more of an afterward (as the explanation of the murderer’s punishment was not given in depth and seemed ominous)  but overall it was a great mystery that I’d highly recommend (Jaffe, 2012).

Reader's Annotation:  Jane has just woken up in the ER. She remembers going to the party but nothing after that. Supposedly, she was the victim of a hit and run and was found in a rosebush. But what if it wasn’t an accident? Could someone really want to kill her?

Author Information: Michele Jaffe is the author of the Bad Kitty series of YA books as well as thrillers and romances for adults. After getting her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard, she retired from academia and decided to become an FBI special agent or glamorous showgirl, but somehow instead ended up writing. A native of Los Angeles, California, Jaffe and her sparkly shoes currently reside in New York City.

Genre: Mystery

Curriculum Ties:  N/A

Booktalking Ideas:  Read a section of when Jane receives phone calls and no one believes that someone is out to get her.

Reading Level/Interest Age:  14+

Challenge Issues: N/A

Challenge Defense:  N/A

Reason for Inclusion:  An excellent mystery that keeps readers guessing.


Jaffe, M. (2012). Bio. Retrieved from

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