Monday, May 26, 2014

Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano

Genre:  YA Thriller Detective

Description (taken from Elle Cosimano's website):
Bones meets Fringe in a big, dark, scary, brilliantly-plotted urban thriller that will leave you guessing until the very end.

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother’s job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone’s skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn’t trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn’t figure it all out soon—she’ll be next.

Nearly comes from a trailer park background where her mom works as an exotic dancer.  All she's got going for her is her smarts, and there's a competitive scholarship that everyone's trying to get their hands on, however it would be Nearly's ticket out of town.  But when cryptic messages start popping up, she notices them and realizes they all revolve around her.  Someone's after her and they want people to notice.  While spending her whole life in the shadows of the crowd, she finds an uncomfortable spotlight following her relentlessly around.  Will she be able to solve the clues before her life becomes at risk?

This book is a clever who-dunnit novel.  I really enjoyed it.  It sets a really good mystery pace while wrapping in a bit of romance.  As we see Nearly in the beginning as an uncomfortable girl, we watch her in the end full of confidence knowing she has the smarts to figure it all out.  The only question I'm left with is why on earth did the author through in a bit of paranormal into the story?  Nearly's ability to feel people's emotions didn't really contribute too much to the story.  It felt a little distracting to me considering this novel has full roots on the thriller/mystery aspect.  So while the whole mystery's going on, I'm left questioning Nearly's ability and why she has it (why yes, I do get stuck on paranormal plot points).

A mystery novel that held my attention all the way until the end.  I didn't even have the killer figured out until he was revealed (that alone should say this is a good one).  Pick it up when you're ready for a young adult who-dunnit mystery.

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