Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
My rating: 4.5 hearts
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Mystery
Pub. date: November 10th 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Synopsis: A teen is forced to make a fresh start after witnessing a violent crime—but love and danger find her anyway in this novel from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.
Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life.
After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer.
But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows.
As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks… (synopsis from Goodreads)
My thoughts: I was a little hesitant to read this at first, because the last book I read from Fitzpatrick that wasn’t Fantasy was a big disappointment, but since I knew she could write great books, and I thought it sounded interesting, I decided to give it a go. So I went to one of my favourite places in the world, namely the library (you can read books for free, so that’s obvious). You may not have known this about me, but I actually like Mysteries and Thrillers, I just haven’t found many.
I finished it in three days. Now, that may sound like a lot compared to how fast I usually breeze through books I enjoy, but as I have been really busy these last few days, that means I have spent pretty much all my spare time reading. When I started reading, I was so happy when I was caught very quickly in the book. I just couldn’t put it down (stupid work, why did you have to be in the way of my reading?)! It’s not the best from Fitzpatrick, but it was definitely good. And to be honest, I needed a break from all the Fantasy I’ve read lately, so this was great.
I really like Stella!
The main character, Stella (or Estella) has a lot of flaws. I know that sounds bad, but flaws are important. It makes the character relatable and realistic, and believe it or not, less annoying (perfect characters just annoy me to no end). Stella is prejudiced, she holds on to her anger at her mother, and she is determined to not like it in Thunder Basin. But she isn’t all flaws; she’s independent, strong (even though she doesn’t really see that herself) and that, combined with the flaws, makes her a great main character. I really liked reading about her.
Then we have Chet. Another flawed character, but also really great. He’s made a lot of mistakes in his life, but he learned from them, and he’s trying to be a better person. And he’s caring, selfless and just great. I loved him!
The chemistry between Stella and Chet is good. At moments, it felt kind of forced, but it was mostly good. It wasn’t great; it didn’t make my heart race or anything, but it was good enough. I think the problem was that it could sometimes feel like there were three people instead of two – Chet, Stella and Estella. It made Stella seem indecisive, and it felt as though she was two different people instead of one person. It made the romance harder to follow, as sometimes she was all for being with Chet, while other times, she was determined to never be anything but friends.
It was too predictable
The plot was good, it held a good pace throughout, and it never got boring. The biggest problem with the plot was that it was predictable. When I read mysteries, I want to be surprised at the end. I want all plot twists to be surprising, to keep me on my toes. This book did not succeed in that. I suspected something from pretty early on, and it happened. Now, that’s bad in any book, but especially mysteries. Nothing in this book was really surprising.
The writing was good, nothing to say about that really. A big minus for the predictability, but it was a good read, and it kept me interested. It was definitely worth reading.