Author: Karen Healey
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
How Received: publisher ARC
Seventeen-year-old Keri likes to plan for every possibility. She knows what to do if you break an arm, or get caught in an earthquake or fire. But she wasn't prepared for her brother's suicide, and his death has left her shattered with grief. When her childhood friend Janna tells her it was murder, not suicide, Keri wants to believe her. After all, Janna's brother died under similar circumstances years ago, and Janna insists a visiting tourist, Sione, who also lost a brother to apparent suicide that year, has helped her find some answers.
As the three dig deeper, disturbing facts begin to pile up: one boy killed every year; all older brothers; all had spent New Year's Eve in the idyllic town of Summerton. But when their search for the serial killer takes an unexpected turn, suspicion is cast on those they trust the most.
As secrets shatter around them, can they save the next victim? Or will they become victims themselves?
This is one of those things I got randomly and went, "Hey, this looks kind of interesting. I'll pack it and bring it with me to college." And then I started reading it and got sucked into a whirlwind of sheer awesome.
The entire novel is just absolutely fantastic. I've been sitting here for an hour trying to find the words for it, and I'm actually left speechless. Not because it's so fantastic that I expect it to become a classic or that it's the best thing since sliced bread - it's simply so good, and so unexpectedly good, that I'm not sure what to say.
I absolutely love how normal the characters are. I mean, yes, they're original and weird and awesome. But they're also decidedly normal. They aren't going around lusting after some dark mysterious boy or contemplating how they're going to save the world. They have a goal, and when they're not working on that goal they're normal people with normal dreams.
I love the slight paranormal twist on the story - not enough that I would call it a full out paranormal, but it reminds me of some of the old mystery novels I used to read, where magic was involved but the mystery was still solved. I loved it.
Everything about this book was just great. Partly because I didn't expect it to be. Partly because it's just a good book.
Overall Rating & Final Comments: 10/10. Raw characters, realistic writing and fantastic plot. Definitely gonna be rereading this one in the future.
Cover Comments: It fits the book so well, from the model to the symbolism. Love it.