Cover Love: YES! I just love this cover, it totally sets the tone for the book. You really know what you are going to get--murder, mystery quirky.
Why I Wanted to Read This:
Really, the cover caught my eye the most. How could I not want to read this, so fun! The synopsis kept that feeling going. Here it is from Goodreads:
Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population: 688) is no different. Around here, everyone wears a smile. And no one ever locks their doors. Until, that is, high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is found murdered. Strung up like a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield.Romance?: Yes, a little one. Sweet though.
Unfortunately, Friendship’s police are more adept at looking for lost pets than catching killers. So Ruth’s best friend, Kippy Bushman, armed with only her tenacious Midwestern spirit and Ruth’s secret diary (which Ruth’s mother had asked her to read in order to redact any, you know, sex parts), sets out to find the murderer. But in a quiet town like Friendship—where no one is a suspect—anyone could be the killer.
This book starts out strong, with a horrific murder. I did find it a bit slow until the last third. I think it is because I had a hard time connecting with Kippy. I did like her, she was described as very pretty, but you can tell she is totally nerdy, however, her friend has some jealous over Kippy's "perfection." Neither she nor the readers would think she is perfect though. She has had a history of mental issues, very explainable and nothing that required more than some group therapy, but because of that, it's easy for the people around her to discount the things she tells them about her investigation of the murder.
The last third of this book flew by but here's what I had to do to keep reading--go to the end to find out who did it. I do this sometimes when I am finding a book slow. Once I read some of the ending I decide whether I want to keep reading or not--sometimes I don't see anything that peaks my interest and sometimes I read something that makes me wonder how the story got there, then I go back and keep reading. This book did that, I totally was surprised by the killer andwent right back to where I left off and kept going. I was very glad I did.
Kippy's dad kind of drove me nuts. He for sure is a man who has no clue how to parent without his wife around but he does try his best. The thing that bothers me is how quick he is to not believe Kippy. I know she has that history, but it would be refreshing for a parent to take their child's side in a YA book every now and again. (Although his guilt in the end for not believing her was satisfying!).
The mystery of the book was very good, I couldn't guess at all who the culprit was (at least the ones I guessed were wrong).
To Sum Up: A good, mystery, probably a bit mature for my middle school library, but one I am glad I read!
egalley requested and received from HarperTeen via Edelweiss. Thanks!!