Originally posted at arielavalon.com
Tomboy Ellie has always been "one of the guys", not the type of pretty girl the guys flock to like her sister Angela. So when Seth moves in across the street and starts giving her all of his attention, she is more than suspicious. When girls in surrounding areas start turning up dead and they all bare a striking resemblance to Ellie, she starts to freak out. Her parents start blaming puberty and hormones combined with her crush on the model-hot boy across the street. Ellie sees it for what she thinks it really is, drool-worthy Seth is a serial killer, and she is next on his list!
This book was wonderful! First things fist, you know Seth isn't really the serial killer. That isn't the way Young Adult books work. You know that it will end up with Ellie being paranoid, but oh gosh is he a legit suspect or what!? You know he won't end up being the killer though. That cute cover and the easy-going likability of the writing style spoils it from the first chapter. There is no way the author will let poor Ellie fall in love with this perfect boy just to shatter her heart like that. Sure, there were A LOT of times where I had to question that belief, but it was the stance I stuck to while I was reading. I wasn't going to let go of my faith that it would turn out alright and they would end up together.
The characters are fantastic! Ellie is perfect, even though I don't understand tomboys being a girly-girl myself, I still adored her. Her reactions and the way she handles herself around her friends is just perfect. She is so confident and knows herself so well. Even when things are changing and she is falling in love for the first time, she doesn't become this whiny heroine. Does she maybe need anger management? Possibly, but she is a tomboy. Boys are like that, tomboys who have to hold their own against the real boys have to be worse. It makes sense. Angie can be a bit annoying, but she really did try to help even when she was messing things up. Travis was a complete jerk, ugh, I remember guys like him from high school. I made him my number one suspect through things. You get to hear about Ellie's best friends the J's who are at camp through things, but I would've liked to actually see more of them. For them to be her best friends it felt wrong for them to be so detached from the story. Seth is so perfect. Sure, he is intense and a bit creepy, but when his story comes out it all falls into place and you can't help but fall as much in love with him as Ellie had.
The writing is smooth and light. I like that. I like that it wasn't trying too hard but it wasn't totally intense either. It was a perfect flow to let a romantic mystery exist without freaking you out. I don't like overly suspenseful novels, so I appreciate that. The plot has twists and turns. I NEVER expected the killer to be who it ended up being. It all clicked in my head just before it became wicked obvious in the novel and I felt stupid for not seeing it. It made so much freaking sense but I never saw it coming. Love that! I love when a novel takes me completely by surprise.
This was a fantastic read. If you like a romance with some murder-mystery elements to it, this is a fabulous choice. Recommended to all!