Author: Mariah Fredericks
Pub: 2012; Random House
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Mystery
Etc: Hugs to Random House and NetGalley
There was a girl found dead
in a park, not a shed
early one morn
the family was torn
"she deserved it," kids said.
Rain (1) gets a phone call one morning from an anxious mom. Her daughter, Wendy, never came home from the party she attended the night before. Rain wants to help and ease Wendy's mom's fears, but the truth is, she and Wendy stopped being close friends years ago. Wendy was with the "popular" crowd now, and Rain - well - she has always been too shy to event attempt to place herself in that social dynamic.
As the day goes on, Rain is troubled from memories that she has of the party. Like her taking off with someone's boyfriend? Those haunting questions only trouble her more when they find Wendy's strangled body in Central Park.
This book was such a quick read. Serious folks. And the only shameful thing about that is, while looking through books that I needed to review, I sorta had to jog my memory for a few minutes because I couldn't remember IF I had read this book.
BUT that's not to say it was the book's fault. In fact, I'm not usually a big fan of mysteries because the whodunits are often obvious, and unless the writing is stellar and the characters are developed well, mysteries just frustrate me. Not this one. Let me repeat. Not. This. One. I found myself questioning everyone who knew Wendy. Because even the obvious picks would have been a good plot line.
And Wendy, through the eyes of her classmates, was such a real character. Loud and obnoxious Jersey girl finding herself in a preppy stuck up city school desperately wanting to fit it, but instead, constantly getting shunned by the witch-parade which causes her to flirt widely and publicly go after all the in-girls' boyfriends. *exhale* It's like she's a girl that you would totally talk about in school - oh my gawd, did you see who Wendy went after last night at that party? She's so desperate and drunk but then as an adult you see how her insecurities led her down that path.
Also, let's be real. This is a book geared toward teenagers so one can hope that it opens their eyes and shows them that mostly when a person acts that obnoxious they're trying to gain something that's emotionally missing. In the very least, there's always different sides of the story.
Rain was our narrator, our pseudo-detective, and I really like how she eventually found her voice. Bullied by the kids in the past, Rain's defense mechanism was to blend in. Insecure about her speech impediment, she is the quietest girl in school. Yet through her dedication to give Wendy a voice, she finds her own. There's a lesson in that for sure, right?
Overall, I think tons of kids would love this book. Plus there's the added bonus of some interesting themes that could bridge great dialogue. #winning
(1) I looooovve the name Rain. Man, I never wanted children, but if I had, that'd be my top name of choice for sure.