Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne
Release Date – July 2, 2013
Publisher Website - Sourcebooks Fire
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 262 pages
My Rating- 3/5
**obtained for review from publisher**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
They Said It Was An Accident...
Sawyer Dodd is a star athlete, a 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:
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....
It's shiver inducing premise is what initially drew me to read Truly, Madly, Deadly. I was hooked by the clever synopsis, and was hoping for an engrossing mystery. This novel was a little different than I expected, and actually brought forth some nostalgia along with the thrills.
This felt like a throwback to titles I read in Grade 8, or early Grade 9. I am referring to titles by Christopher Pike, and a slew of others that came out around that time. They were fun, sometimes creepy, and never took themselves too seriously. They were meant to be fun reads, while still sending shivers down your spine. This book had that. It was creepy, but also just plain fun.
Sawyer is a girl dealing with the loss of a boyfriend. A boyfriend who abused her. I felt this storyline wasn't fleshed out enough, considering the reasoning behind the killer's motives seems to be keeping Sawyer safe. It would have benefited to know a little more about their relationship, and Kevin himself.
The scariest part of the story is the killer's motivation. They appear (as to not give anything away) to be under the assumption that Sawyer will want to thank them for Kevin's death. This notion of 'protection' is terrifying because it means those closest to you are not safe. Sawyer's grapple with this is well done, and show realistically. She pushes people away when she realizes what is going on, and even harbours some guilt.
Multiple times throughout the novel I want to scream and shake Sawyer. I get that she was scared, but I wanted her to TELL someone. She has a few opportunities to reach out and tell an adult what is going on, and yet doesn't act. Fear drives her, and not wanting to endanger someone else but it became frustrating. The only upside to this? Her father is involved in her life, teachers and the police are present as well. This is a more believable story, in this aspect, because she has these people concerned and questioning what is going on as she begins to unraveled under the stress of being stalked.
There are plenty of red herrings to lead you astray while reading. Some of them are obvious false leads and became a little overdone, but others are masterfully incorporated to create some viable suspects. The mystery element isn't lacking in the novel. It's builds at an appropriate pace, and things escalate nicely. It allows the story to lead you along and for the rest of the background stuff to not interfere as much.
I felt the ending of the book didn't match up with it's strong first half. The ending felt uneven to me, and disjointed from the rest of the story. Our protagonist has a hard time believing this person to be the stalker when their identity is unveiled, and it felt like it the reveal came out of nowhere for me as well. A little more development in this department would have helped immerse myself into this part of the story more.
While it wasn't exactly what I was hoping for, it was still a fun, fast paced thriller that kept me guessing until it's conclusion.