Friday, April 26, 2013

Truly, Madly, Deadly

Truly, Madly, Deadly
Hannah Jayne
$9.99, Paperback
Sourcebooks Fire, 2013

Genre: Mystery

Age: 12+

Description: Sawyer Dodd has everything a girl could ask for. She’s one of her school’s star track athletes. She’s just been given the lead solo in the upcoming choir competition. She’s an A+ student. But most important is the fact that she is dating the all-star football player, Kevin Anderson—a guy many girls would just die to date. However, behind the happy exterior lies an evil secret. While Sawyer has to walk down the halls each day and has everyone envious of her perfect life and she has to put up with Kevin’s ex-girlfriend who wants to make her life miserable, Sawyer has to hide the truth of her relationship with Kevin—she is trapped in a controlling and abusive relationship. One the night that she attempts to finally end it once and for good with Kevin he is later found dead—his car crashing while he was supposedly under the influence of alcohol. Sawyer acts like the perfect girlfriend in mourning but can’t help to feel relief as a huge weight is lifted off her shoulders. When she thinks she can get on with her life she receives a mysterious letter in her locker signed by an “admirer” which has two simple words on it—“You’re welcome.”

Opinion: I have to admit that I am torn on this one. It was a fast-paced read and it certainly had some twists and turns. However, as a lover of mysteries I didn’t find the twists and turns to be all that fresh. First of all, the cover is pretty blah. I wish it was more attractive. I find it not being a good eye catcher to attract teens. I liked the character of Sawyer. She was well fleshed out and I would want her as my friend. Even though she is portrayed as this perfect girl she doesn’t let that go to her head—she knows she isn’t perfect and wishes that people didn’t see her that way. I am glad that she does have the courage to leave Kevin instead of sticking around. She very easily could have been in that car with him the night he died. She is also sympathetic in the harassment she goes through at the hands of Kevin’s ex. It’s nice to see that she does try to be nice to the underdogs. My favorite part most of all was that her admirer doesn’t just stop at Kevin. For example, when a teacher makes an inappropriate move toward her he ends up dead from a peanut allergy. Her admirer is going around killing anyone who happens to hurt Sawyer. However, the most disappointing part of the story was who the admirer ended up being. The big reveal happened in a clich├ęd R.L. Stine/Christopher Pike moment of suspense—Sawyer is stuck in her house, she “knows” who her admirer is and fears he is coming after her next, she calls the cops (but they don’t show), and she lets the one person she shouldn’t trust into the house with her upon which this character goes into the typical, “This is why I did this for you!” speech before the cops finally show up and hull them off to the loony bin. However, it was a good mystery story overall and had some great scenes. I know teens I would recommend it to who will enjoy it.

Thanks to the people at Sourcebooks for the ARC for the YA Galley Group!

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