Jasmine’s life wasn’t normal for a 16 year old girl. It hadn’t been normal since the murder of her older sister, Daisy, two years ago. Her life had been changed forever. The monster that murdered Daisy was never caught. That was the reason her family decided to move away from their hometown in Southern California, to start over. Hopefully in a place where the last name Rourke wouldn’t bring on staring or judgment or morbid curiosity.
In Lafayette, Louisiana things are quite a bit different but in a good way. Good manners, Cajun accents and a whole lot of Southern Hospitality all make her think things are going in the right direction. On top of that the most gorgeous boy she has ever met is interested in her. Her new friends are better than she could have hoped for even if she is worried about what they might think when they find out who she is. Life would be perfect if odd things didn’t keep happening. Creepy phone calls, texts, and flowers in her locker start adding up quickly to something terrifying. Could the Monster have followed them to Lafayette? Was he coming after her this time? Maybe she was just worrying unnecessarily…or not.
It’s been a month since I read any contemporary and the fact that this one is a mystery got me intrigued. Okay, so Jasmine is the sister of a murder victim – a serial killer’s murder victim, who never got caught. The murder of her sister itself causes enough upheaval in her life and now when after two years her family moves into a new town for a fresh start, she is ready to put it all behind her and move on.
Roughly the first half of the book is her settling into her life, though the fact remains that overall she and her family members are more wary now and almost paranoid about strangers. One such incident leads to a meet-cute with the love interest and she immediately starts crushing on him. Things are really looking up when she is asked out by him (who is quite a good guy) and she finally feels happier in this life. The past is still looming over her, however, when she starts to get messages from an unknown source. Her paranoia having a basis, she is afraid but refuses to involve her family into it. In fact, as a character, I loved that about Jasmine – she has multiple facets to her personality – she is the naive teenager, but brave enough to know when to speak up as well as very caring towards her loved ones. In fact, in a dystopia she would have been hailed a hero. For his part, Easton is also a good boyfriend, though his over-protectiveness (even though it was justified) grated on my nerves at one point. He is however a gentleman and kind of her knight in shining armor even though she didn’t need him to be.
As for the mystery, well, I wasn’t as much satisfied with it. Things didn’t really look up in the mystery department until 70% of the book (yea, I notice such things) and the ending was resolved but I felt some things were left unanswered. Like, who put those articles on the lockers? I’m sure it was Lisa but it wasn’t ever explicitly answered. Secondly, how did the hospital never find out that she was made unconscious, not became unconscious? Seems like a thing they would know, plus her flimsy excuses wouldn’t have ever made me believe it. So, in the contemporary department – it scores with good characterization and dialogue. But in the mystery – eh, not so sure with the somewhat okay plot and uneven pacing. I would give this a solid 3.
Received an ARC from Mark My Words Publicity via Netgalley for review purposes. This in no way affects my opinion or my review.