Author: Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Series: Stand Alone
Published: September 17th 2013 by Walker Childrens
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description; Rachel died at two a.m . . . Three hours after Skyler kissed me for the first time. Forty-five minutes after she sent me her last text. Jaycee and Rachel were best friends. But that was before. . .before that terrible night at the old house. Before Rachel shut Jaycee out. Before Jaycee chose Skyler over Rachel. Then Rachel is found dead. The police blame a growing gang problem in their small town, but Jaycee is sure it has to do with that night at the old house. Rachel’s text is the first clue—starting Jaycee on a search that leads to a shocking secret. Rachel’s death was no random crime, and Jaycee must figure out who to trust before she can expose the truth.
I Give This ...
I always struggle with what to give a book that starts out slow and really lives you wondering if you are going to like it. But then the story finally starts to build and in the end you enjoyed it was more than you thought possible. That's what happened with this one.
Jaycee seemed a little whiny at first. I understood that her "supposed" best was killed. But, she spent a lot of time in the beginning justifying her actions. Her mind set was basically I would have done "a" if she hasn't done "b" if you get what I mean. I think she was extremely wounded that Rachel just dropped her with explanation. I think she would have understood if she felt like that had grown apart, but that wasn't the case. I liked her more as the story developed and she learned that it was possible that Rachel stopped being her friend for her own protection.
Jaycee really was in way over her head though when it came to solving what happened to Rachel. The story had a Nancy Drew element to it with way more serious consequences. It's easy to blame the murder(s) on gang problems with you have a influx of certain groups in the area. Especially when the problem is more home grown and way more people are involved that I thought possible.
I was a little perplexed at some of the police mistakes made in the story. A true expert in gang activity would have spotted the discrepancies throughout. Then again, maybe they did and we just are privy to that information. I also felt there was a lot of stereotyping of the Hispanics. I think its suppose to be that way because its the mentality of the town. But, it just sort of rubbed me the wrong way.
Mystery/Thrillers have been my go to genre for years, so I am always please when I find one in the young adult genre that gits it well. I would have enjoyed this a lot in my teens. However, I don't think this type of book is a one size fits all thing. I've found that mystery/thrillers aren't for everyone, no matter how watered down they may be.