Kendall Fletcher had big problems even before her two high school classmates went missing. Her intrusive OCD put her at loose ends, constantly searching for lost threads. The Cryer's Cross freshman was shaken by the disappearance of the first student, but she was totally thunderstruck when her close friend vanished. With her mind already in overdrive, she attempts to put together the pieces of crimes that stump even the police. A spooky small town thriller with a fascinating (and infinitely sympathetic) main character.
I wasn't sure I'd like this book, mostly because of the cover. Creepy, right? The image fits right in with the story. While it's being hailed as a horror, most of the book (at least to me) is a suspense until the end.
The book opens with someone or something speaking and continues to haunt the story. When Tiffany Quinn disappears, it changes things in the small town where Kendall lives. A new family with an angry teenage son moves into town so he becomes a suspect.
After summer vacation, lives seem back to normal until Nico, Kendall's friend-not-boyfriend disappears throwing her into turmoil. The new boy, Jacian, isn't a likely suspect anymore. Than who is it? The answer will surprise and that is where the creep factor comes in.
I liked Kendall. She has OCD and the one room classroom has to be a certain way every morning. In the end, OCD saves her. And Kendall has two loving parents! Love that part. Kendall's parents help a lot with her OCD and she checks in with them when she feels out of control. Love it.
I liked the relationship of Kendall and Nico. They were friends since they could walk. Kendall sees Nico as a brother but Nico loves her and all her quirkiness. Once he disappeared, I wondered who would love her like he did?
Enter, Jacian. Handsome, angry, soccer player, hating the small town, new guy. I loved the relationship between him and Kendall! In the midst of this horror in Small Town America is a sweet romance. He understands Kendall.
I didn't like the "F" bomb dropped a few times in one chapter. I understand why it's there (showing extreme anger), I just think there are other ways to show anger than with that word.
Awesome, creepy, no way! ending. Quite a twist. I wish there had been more in the story to lead up to the ending so it was more, um, real.
Rating: PG 15
L: Yes, "F" words
V: Teens disappear, killer on the loose
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25% test (p. 58):
"Mr. Fletcher turns the TV off. Kendall stares at the blank screen, her hair disheveled, eyes red.
"Kendall," he says. He puts his hand on her arm.
She doesn't move.
Kendall just shakes her head. Whispers, her throat sore from crying. "I can't believe this is happening."
Her father stands up, pulls her to her feet. Hugs her close and whispers, "Come on, pumpkin."
Kendall nods, her cheek against his shoulder. When she pulls away, she sees the shine in his eyes.
He looks away. "Let's go find him."
There are helicopters. News teams are arriving, setting up camp in front of the Feed and Seed shop and inside the farmers' market.
More police mill around than Kendall's ever seen before in one place. Many people drive or walk to the town center, but several come on four-wheelers for the sake of faster off-road searching. Marlena and Jacian are among them. Kendall narrows her eyes.
Sheriff Greenwood stands on the steps of the restaurant with a bullhorn, and he holds it up, testing it out to get everybody's attention."
Kendall looks around. It's barely dawn on a Sunday..."