Genre: Young-Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Release Date: April 18, 2017
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Okay, what is with all the unenthusiastic reviews of this book. I fucking loved it and it’s making no sense to me that more people didn’t feel the same way. And did you know there are actually people who didn’t like the protagonist? Winter was one of the best protagonists young adult fiction has ever seen; how could anyone not like her?!
But you know what, I’m going to try suppressing my bafflement for the reception that this novel has received and just write the review.
Out main girl, Winter Crane, lives in Reeve’s End, a town with nothing to offer but abandoned mines and empty futures. Everyone who wants a life, leaves and never looks back. Winter’s sister did it and Winter plans to do the same. Then she finds out that one of her friends who left town recently has gone missing and it leads her to wonder if maybe not all the people who’ve left actually left. Maybe some of them went missing.
And you might wonder, why didn’t anyone notice kids going missing? What’s the police doing? The answer is that it’s normal for the kids who leave to want nothing to do with the town. And the sheriff’s department is fucking useless. It’s basically a family run business and no one does shit.
So if Winter wants to find her friend and know more about the rest of the kids, then she’s gonna have to do it all on her own. Well, she has one partner. Jude, whose brother’s missing. Together, Winter and Jude make a brilliant fucking team. They’ve both got their own set of skills that contributes to the investigation and they’re both really fucking smart, and brave. The two of them worked so well together. A truly dynamic duo, if I ever saw one. And yes, there’s a romantic arc.
In the beginning I thought the romance would be with Lennon, the missing brother, but it wasn’t. Kelley Armstrong has done the brother switch twice now but she just sells it so well that you find yourself rooting for the canon ship.
Another thing Kelley Armstrong excels at? The setting and tone. The isolated town with the unhelpful people, surrounded by woods with feral dogs, and a serial killer stalking you and leaving mutilated animal treats for you to find. It was so creepy and I loved it. Kelley Armstrong’s prose is so good and flows so well. There was not a single dull moment, I was riveted throughout the whole thing.
I highly urge you to give this book a shot. Don’t let other people tell you it’s not great. Though, to be fair, if so many people were underwhelmed, there’s a chance you might be as well. Still, try it. This author, for me, really stands out when it comes to YA. I loved her Darkest Powers series and I love this book as well. I should really read more stuff by her…