ARC Review: The Girl in the Picture

The Girl in the PictureThe Girl in the Picture by Alexandra Monir
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Release date: November 15, 2016

Nicole Morgan has been labeled many things — the geeky music girl, the shy sidekick to Miss Popularity, and the girl with the scar. Now only one name haunts her through the halls of Oyster Bay Prep.

The Girl in the Picture.

After high school heartthrob Chace Porter is found dead in the woods near the school, the police are in search of the girl whose picture with Chace is the only clue found amongst his personal belongings. A girl who no one knew was even close to Chace–and whose dormmate, Lana Rivera, was Chace’s girlfriend.

Nicole is that girl and now she’s the primary suspect in his murder.

But what really happened that night? Were Nicole and Chace dating behind Lana’s back; were he and Lana over? Could either of them have killed him?

Told in alternating points of view, that of our suspect, Nicole Morgan, and her former best friend and roommate, Lana Rivera, readers will piece together the story of a starcrossed love, a fractured friendship–and what really happened the night Chace was killed.

The Girl in the Picture starts off with the event itself, the murder and then from a dual narrative, we get the story before and after. The story is of three new friends, and their love triangle. Lana and Chase are children of Congressmen, and naturally they gravitate towards each other because of their shared lifestyles. Nicole is a violin prodigy who becomes Lana’s roommate. Chase is however more interested in Nicole and this spurs Lana’s jealousy. Now, in the aftermath of his murder, and the fact that Nicole is outed as his secret girlfriend, fingers start pointing towards her. I don’t know about you, but most crime procedural shows have taught me that the first suspect they look towards is the one being cheated on. But then again, Lana is the daughter of an influential Congresswoman, so her name is kept out of suspicion. Worse is the fact that the events of that night of murder are blurred thanks to the overpowering effect of mixed drinks, as well as a prior accident that Nicole faced, making it very convenient for the plot. Yes, I am being a bit snarky, but that is because the book didn’t offer anything new. I wasn’t surprised for the most part, and the ghost angle felt like it was there to deliver a dash of romance. The writing was good, but when you have a story that doesn’t really hook you in, it doesn’t really shine, you know? I was hoping for a complex story, something that made you seek out clues and subtext, but I was disappointed. An average read, for me.

Received a free galley from Random House Children’s, via Netgalley.

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