By: Gretchen McNeil
Published By: Balzer & Bray
Publication Date: June 16, 2015
Page Count: 384
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Mystery
The girls are back and this time the killer has their eye on each one of them and the people they love. I have been anticipating this one after book #1 ended on a wicked cliff hanger. I didn't get resolution; the identity of the killer was left lingering on the wind in book one. I was clueless to the killer's identity which is one of the main signs of a well written mystery. I will warn you that this review will be less verbose than usual because its difficult to review a mystery without spoilers, but the reveal is worth the wait and I wouldn't want to steer a reader in that direction. It needs to be experienced organically.
I can tell you that the girls are all the same characters I enjoyed from the first book, but they have a new level of stress on them. It's not just worrying about getting caught for being behind DGM this time, but rather they are trying to solve a murder mystery while watching their back at every moment. In addition to the targets painted on their backs, people they care about become targets and former targets of DGM begin to disappear. Time is running out for the girls. The tension is so heavy you could cut it with a knife.
In spite of the dire circumstances, a little romance still blossoms from time to time. I am particularly fond of Bree's relationship. I love that it is solidly based in friendship and is supportive. I don't know that all teen relationships have those factors as so often I was swayed by a pair of pretty eyes and broad shoulders as a teen. I don't know that I was always looking for substance in the people I dated. Oh, to know then what I know now.
I also have loved that one of the main themes of this series is friendship. Bree, Margot, Kitty, and Olivia would do anything for one another. Their bond is strong and loyalty is valued. There is no backstabbing and petty bickering among these four.
While I enjoyed this one, I did find it difficult to get back into this world. It's been so long since I read the first novel that I had lost that sense of anxiety from the first novel. I reread my previous review and my reading notes trying to conjure the anticipation that I felt prior to starting the novel, but it sparked up only a few times. My reading experience was more lackluster than I would have predicted. Sure, the hunt for the killer is interesting and I totally didn't see the ending coming, but I didn't feel a sense of urgency while reading. I felt slightly disconnected from the girls and the plot. I blame this on the fact that there was almost a year in between reading book one and book two. I would recommend reading this book one and then immediately diving into book two. The lengthy time between reads kept me from experiencing this one fully. Perhaps I'll have time to work in a reread of both back to back to see if my theory proves true.
One Last Gripe: I missed Margot being around as much as she was in the first novel.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: I liked finally getting answers.
First Sentence: Ed stood in the doorway of the fifth-floor hospital room and stared at Margot.
Favorite Character: Kitty
Least Favorite Character: Amber
The members of Don’t Get Mad aren’t just mad anymore . . . they’re afraid. And with Margot in a coma and Bree stuck in juvie, it’s up to Olivia and Kitty to try to catch their deadly tormentor. But just as the girls are about to go on the offensive, Ed the Head reveals a shocking secret that turns all their theories upside down. The killer could be anyone, and this time he—or she—is out for more than just revenge.
The girls desperately try to discover the killer’s identity as their personal lives are falling apart: Donté is pulling away from Kitty and seems to be hiding a secret of his own, Bree is under house arrest, and Olivia’s mother is on an emotional downward spiral. The killer is closing in, the threats are becoming more personal, and when the police refuse to listen, the girls have no choice but to confront their anonymous friend . . . or die trying.