Thursday, February 5, 2015

Kiss and Tell by Jacqueline Green

Kiss and Tell by Jacqueline Green
Release Date - February 3, 2015
Publisher Website - Hachette/Little Brown
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 288 pages
My Rating - 3/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Since their dangerous game of truth or dare began, Tenley Reed, Sydney Morgan, and Emerson Cunningham have lost almost everything. Closely guarded secrets, romantic relationships, and sought-after spots at the top of their school's social hierarchy-all gone in the blink of an eye.

Now the darer has upped the stakes, leaving another body behind in the girls' isolated beach town of Echo Bay. And if they can't untangle the twisted web leading to whoever is behind the mysterious deaths, one of them could be next. But what happens when the trail leads to those they trusted, those they loved?

Filled with intoxicating twists and shocking betrayals, the final installment in the Truth or Dare trilogy will keep readers guessing until the very end. 
The game of Truth Or Dare takes a deadly turn in this series that proves secrets never stay buried. The conclusion to the series offered up a satisfying ending, and a few surprises. Fans of the previous novels will devour this final installment as it offers up everything they would have loved in the first two books.

The 'darer' is finished playing childish games. They are willing to reveal everything and let those left standing deal with the aftershock. This felt like it was a long time coming, and having everything laid out there was refreshing. Conversations that I wanted to happen were able to finally happening. Questions that had been nagging are answered. It read the strongest out of the three books in the series simply because it is the one that gives the reader what had been promised to them in book one - a conclusion to the mystery.

The connection with the characters never really happened for me. They remained distant right until the very end. I knew who each was by surface descriptor. Emerson was the model. Sydney the one who set fires. Tenley was the girl who came back to Echo Creek. Sure, we know other things about them, but their surface  level things. It made it harder, for me at least, to get invested in them, their romances and the outcome. The stakes, which should have been high as this author showed she was willing to kill characters off, never felt high enough. I knew that any of them could have been killed at any time, but I didn't care enough for that to matter. This novel was more about the plot than the characters and that created a barrier for me.

It was the mystery element that, for me at least, kept me reading. The ending is the pay off in series like this. It can make or destroy a series where mysteries are the focus because some much is dependent on how it all comes together. The reveal is satisfying, but a little rushed. The pacing felt off as the ending comes like a freight train compared to the rest of the novel. The identity of the 'darer' does make logical sense, and all of the clues fit with who it is. It creates this cohesive narrative. The why for everything is accounted for. The reasoning for the game, the people involved, and how it all connects was the element that was the strongest aspect of the novel. Every little thread ties together in the end. There were no misleading clues. Nothing was a coincidence in this novel. Everything that happened directly links back to the bigger mystery.

This novel sort of reminded me of candy. It's good while you're reading it, but it doesn't have that lasting impact. It'd be a perfect series to binge while on vacation but it's not going to stay with you once you've turned the final page.

A trilogy that is sure to be a hit with fans of shows like Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars. A twist filled thrill ride that didn't completely win me over, but ended up offering a satisfying ending to the series.

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