Thursday, April 21, 2016

Book Review: Girl Last Seen

Girl Last Seen
Published By: Aw Teen
Publication Date: 1 March 2016
Page Count: 272
Buy it at Barnes & Noble or Amazon
Source: ARC provided by author
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary/Mystery

I love a good mystery or thriller where you are constantly trying to guess who did what and why, and having a twist at the end that you didn't see coming just tops it all off.

Girl Last Seen is just such a novel.  The story is about Lauren, Jude, Mason, and Kadence.  Kadence and Lauren used to be best friends, and a week after a huge fight Kadence goes missing. The police think Lauren or Jude had something to do with it. Jude was Lauren's best friend before Kadence, but was dropped once she was in the picture, and they became very cruel to him.  Jude has harbored anger and hate ever since and wants revenge for what they did to him.  Mason is Kadence's boyfriend, and completely naive to who she really is.  Lauren knows that there is a mean streak in Kady, and there are several people who would wish her harm. But who did it? And will Lauren and Jude be able to figure it out before one of them goes to jail?

Girl Last seen was written from four different points of view: Lauren, Jude, Mason, and vlogger videos of Kadence.  I loved reading from each point of view, learning about that character and their feelings towards what was going on.  I also loved that you still questioned their motives and harbored doubt about whether they were involved or not with Kadence's disappearance.  It keeps you guessing and to me, that is fun.

The four points of view - well, three and a video feed - were done extremely well.  You could easily distinguish between each character's "voice."  You could feel the anger and hate from Jude, but as he and Lauren became closer, you could see those changing feelings.  The naivety and desperation to find Kadence from Mason made you sad.  And Lauren's mixed feelings over Kadence's disappearance were well fleshed out.  The authors did a great job with each distinction.

When I'm reading a book that has a mystery involved, or a romance but you're not sure who the main character is going to choose, I always have this incredible urge to just flip to the back of the book and find out.  I never do, obviously, because that would spoil the fun, but for me that is also a sign of a really good book.

I really enjoyed reading Girl Last Seen, the authors keep you guessing to the very end.  I will admit that I figured out what happened about half way through, but wasn't 100% sure till I finished it.  And there was still a twist at the end that surprised me and had me gasp out loud.  I love unexpected twists at the ends of mysteries, and this book did not disappoint.

One Last Thought: The book I was given is an uncorrected advanced readers copy.  I noticed a couple grammatical errors and at least one consistency issue. Hopefully those were found in the final edit.

Favorite Thing About This Book: I love that nobody is innocent.  Everyone has shameful secrets and regrets. It's true to real life.

First Sentence: A woman with shoulder-length blond hair and a plastered-on smile holds a microphone as she stands to the side of a crowded coffee shop.

Favorite Character: Jude

Kadence Mulligan's star was rising. She and her best friend, Lauren DeSanto, watched their songs go viral on YouTube, then she launched a solo career when a nasty throat infection paralyzed Lauren's vocal chords. Everyone knows Lauren and Kadence had a major falling-out over Kady's boyfriend. But Lauren knows how deceptive Kadence could be sometimes. And nobody believes Lauren when she claims she had nothing to do with the disappearance. Or the blood evidence.

As the town and local media condemns Lauren, she realizes the only way to clear her name is to discover the truth herself. Lauren slowly unravels the twisted life of Kadence Mulligan and sees that there was more to her than she ever knew. But will she realize she's unknowingly playing a part in an elaborate game to cover up a crime before it's too late?"

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