Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Book Review: Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

Truly, Madly, Deadly
Hannah Jayne
YA Thriller
Published: July 2013
image: Goodreads
Contemporary thrillers are pretty big in Young Adult fiction right now, so we'll be seeing more of them debut over the next year. Truly, Madly, Deadly took me back to the Christopher Pike books, though this story is admittedly a little more grounded. Sawyer and her best friend have an endearing repertoire; they're funny, realistic friends.

I loved that Sawyer lives in the model home of a new housing development separated from town. Have you ever walked around or driven through a neighborhood under development? Partially-built lots, no neighbors, not-yet-permanent roads, construction machinery casting shadows during off-hours--the perfect set up for creepery.

So, the story starts with Sawyer and everyone in school mourning the loss of her boyfriend Kevin, a popular student and athlete, who died in a car accident. Sawyer hints that Kevin wasn't so perfect, a fact that she hides from friends and family. Details of Kevin's accident are suspicious, and the police are investigating whether it was murder. A the same time, Sawyer receives a mysterious note--someone knows exactly what happened, and now they're watching Sawyer. The rest of the book is a guessing game of who killed Kevin, and who is stalking Sawyer and why.

This is definitely a lighter thriller, though people do die (which is why I related it to Christopher Pike). The story is shades of dark without becoming graphic. I do wish the backstory with Sawyer and Kevin had been explored a little further, there was a lot of potential there. But overall I liked the characters and enjoyed the mystery.