Karen Keyte's Reviews > Safe House

Safe House by Jenny Carroll
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's review
Apr 15, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: teen-girls-adventure-mystery
Read from April 15 to 16, 2011

It's not really Jess Mastriani's fault that she didn't know Amber Mackey was dead. After spending most of the summer herding musical prodigies and Camp Wawasee, Jess spent the last two weeks before school started with her best friend's family at the Michigan dunes. How could she have heard that her classmate had been found strangled to death at a local hangout in the limestone quarry? If Amber's death is shocking to Jess, she is even more stunned to find out that most of her classmates at Ernie Pyle High School blame her for the tragedy. First of all, as far as most of the world knows, Jess has lost her psychic ability to find people (gained after being struck by lightning the previous spring). More importantly, how could she have found Amber when she didn't even know she was missing?

When Jess' old friends (and with friends like these, who needs enemies) Special Agents Johnson and Smith take a sudden interest in Amber's football quarterback boyfriend, Mark Leskowski, he and Jess do some bonding over their mutual dislike for federal law enforcement. When another cheerleader goes missing, the rest of the pompon wavers turn to Jess for help. If she can just figure out a way to find the missing girl without tipping the Feds to the fact that she still has her powers, Jess will be able to exonerate Mark, placate the cheerleaders, and assure herself a place with the in-crowd.

This third book in Meg Cabot's 1-800-Where-R-You series is just as good as, if not better than, the two that preceded it. Jess is a scrappy heroine, fiercely loyal to her family and friends and lovable despite her tendency to throw punches first and ask questions later. The story is a solid, quick-paced mystery with enough twists to keep you guessing throughout. The real strength of this book though, as with any Meg Cabot novel, is the dialogue. Sharp and funny, Jess's voice leaps off the page. Makes sure you have book four of this series, Sanctuary, on hand. You'll want to get started as soon as you finish this one.

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