Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Book Review: Truly, Madly, Deadly

Hannah Jayne's novel, Truly, Madly, Deadly, keeps the reader guessing clear to the end as to who is responsible for the tragic events unfolding in the story. The pacing in the book is excellent. The premise is intriguing. Still, somehow it ended up being just an okay read.

The back cover introduces the story with this blurb:

"Sawyer Dodd is a star athlete, straight-A student, and the envy of every other girl who wants to date Kevin Anderson. When Kevin dies in a tragic car crash, Sawyer is stunned. Then she opens her locker to find a note: 'You're welcome'.

"Someone saw what he did to her. Someone knows that Sawyer and Kevin weren't the perfect couple they seemed to be. And that someone - a killer - is now shadowing Sawyer's every move ..."

Anyone who has ever hurt or offended Sawyer becomes a target in the story and characters are dying like flies. Not only that, but the evidence always leads back to Sawyer (murder weapons showing up in her locker and discovered by the police). The suspects are endless: the two boys newly interested in forming a connection with Sawyer, the police officer first on each scene, the new step-mother, the best friend.  Who is causing damage to all who come up against Sawyer and why are they framing Sawyer with the evidence?

Interesting idea, but the writing still came off cliché and predictable. From numerous episodes of crying to questionable points in the plot (how could the friend return home without the car and with a bloody gash on her head, yet not raise any suspicions by the parents that she had even been out for the night?), the writing was just okay.

It was still worth the read, however. I think teens probably enjoy the suspense of the story and the conflicted nature of the main character. With a little bit of romance, a little bit of relational conflict, a lot of questions, and a steady stream of new evidence, the story does pull you along on a wild ride.

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