Sawyer Dodd is a star athlete, a straight-A student, and the envy of every other girl who wants to date Kevin Anderson. When Kevin dies in a tragic car crash, Sawyer is stunned. Then she opens her locker to find a note:
Someone saw what he did to her. Someone knows that Sawyer and Kevin weren’t the perfect couple they seemed to be. And that someone—a killer—is now shadowing Sawyer’s every move…
Hannah is the author of the UNDERWORLD DETECTION AGENCY CHRONICLES from Kensington books and the upcoming young adult thrillers TRULY, MADLY, DEADLY and SEE JANE RUN available from Sourcebooks, Inc. When she's not battling the demons of the Underworld or tackling a murderer at Hawthorne High, Jayne kicks her feet up in her San Francisco bay area home and attempts to share couch space with two enormous cats.
Now that you're here, kick up your feet and stay awhile...
1. Things in the book all of the sudden happen; her teacher groping her after school, for instance. There isn't any lead up to the events that happen. 2. The author's wording is way too indulgent. There are too many adjectives. It's like she looked up every adjective that should be in a thriller novel and used all of them. 3. Tara is all huge bellied and waddling yet they just now found out the sex of the baby? And Tara asked, "Since when did David become a girl name?" Meanwhile, her step-daughter's name is Sawyer... 4. Besides her choir teacher, all of the teachers don't seem to care that Sawyer's boyfriend just died. They keep asking her why she isn't herself and expecting her to excel in class. Yo, her abusive boyfriend just died. Chill. 5. Why does the author keep referring to Sawyer's dad in his full name: Andrew Dodd. We get it. We know his name. Same with her mom. 6. What kind of school wouldn't do an assembly for a kid who died and how would Cooper not know a school member died? They knew that Maggie died, but not Kevin, the most popular boy in school. 7. And then at the party Cooper and Sawyer don't even know each other but they are making out. 8. It took me so long to read this book because I thought it was so bad that I didn't even want to finish it. I've never loathed writing as much as this. 9. Chloe. Hmm. As if the book wasn't dumb enough. 10. It was supposed to be a thriller, but my heart beat steadily the whole time. No suspense. No lead up. No care for the main character. No care for any characters except maybe Cooper. 11. The end was so nonchalant. Let's just walk hand in hand with my new boyfriend while the world as I know it crashes down around me. 12. I threw the book across the room when I finished. 13. Other theories I had: Sawyer was doing all of this herself and she was schizo, Tara was trying to sabotage, and the obvious Cooper or Logan angle. 14. Seriously, this book was bad. 15. Also, it made me angry that she didn't tell anyone the whole truth and used stupid excuses for why she didn't. 16. Why did I even finish this? I'm just not a book abandoner. 17. And also, it never even goes into detail about the abuse from Kevin, so the reader didn't even have that much sympathy for her.
I feel like singing Here I go again on my own as I write this review. This book was just a huge clusterfuck for me. It should have been epic, and creepy, and all the things I love in a book. I was so excited by the blurb, but....no.
First of all, Sawyer mc clusterfuck extrodinaire, is one of the most unlikable, non-endearing characters I have read in a long time. She is simply stupid. Yes, stupid. She is an insult to teenage girls everywhere. Everywhere. Not only does she have some major scary shit going on, but she doesn't tell anyone. The most hilarious thing was she didn't even tell her best friend from the last 1000 years. Yup. Makes perfect sense. Let's discuss the adults in this book of fuckery, shall we? Sawyer has a dad, stepmother, mom is who 3000 miles away. They are the shittiest group of parental figures I have ever encountered. When Sawyer does get her head out of her ass, to maybe attempt to discuss some things with her dad, he completely shuts her out. Add to that the fact that they are not present the majority of the time, leaving this girl in an undeveloped empty community. Um, yeh. Makes sense. Again. Now, the first lesson in scary movies is what? The obvious is never the answer. Right? Right? Well, in this epicness, we have multiple culprits tossed conveniently around. It was rather laughable since you figure out who the real culprit is pretty damn fast. But, the plot drags on for way too many pages, continuously throwing these suspect people in our faces. When the real culprit is revealed, and his/her motivations come to light, it was completely unrealistic. It made no sense. Was so out of the blue, that I was just ready to throw in the towel. Add to this that so incredibly unrealistic, and somewhat insulting, scene in the police station that completely pissed me off. The girl walks into a fucking police station, tells the police woman she was left a file on another police officer's desk. This police woman proceeds to allow said girl to take files off the police officers desk and leave with them. What the fuck. These were files on murder victims, complete with pictures. I mean the total unrealistic fuckery of this, threw any minute shred of credibility this book had left, out the window. My final thought. I may have snoozed one or two times while reading this. This is a rare occurrence for me while reading. My mind also wandered to totally irrelevant thoughts at times. For example, I was hungry, what can I say? If you want to take a chance on this book, feel free. I am but a lowly reader who reads way too much. Your ride may vary.
Here are the reasons why I just have to let this one go.
1. Bo-ring. Where's the thrill? I was bored to tears with this one. Suspense my ass.
2. The heroine. Really. I just can't relate to this loser.
3. The love interest. I think it would have been better if there's no new love interest in this one. I say that boys would just distract you. I was hoping that she won't need a boy in her life in order for her to survive this shit.
A fun and creepy thriller, Truly, Madly, Deadly is a perfectly entertaining read. It does take some suspension of disbelief in certain aspects of the story, but I can see it being a hit by fans of the genre nonetheless.
Sawyer's boyfriend's death was only the beginning, it seems. Since the accident, Sawyer seems to have taken on a stalker who's set on framing her for all the accidents-ruled-murders that have been happening in her town. Aside from the aforementioned, we also have the topics of bullying and abusive relationship that Sawyer has to learn to fight through. What I liked the most about Sawyer's character was her voice; how she dealt with what was happening felt very real and emotionally gripping. The flashbacks to her past had my heart breaking for her. However, I do prefer my characters strong and feisty, and Sawyer vomited and passed out a little too much for my taste. It's understandable in her situation, but still. The side characters were just average, and I did feel like some were included to serve the lone purpose of having extra suspects to try to derail us. It did work to a certain extent as I suspected most of them at least once, but it becomes apparent who the true culprit is if you put your mind to it. The author uses a familiar (to me) angle that makes it easy to pinpoint when you've read as many murder mysteries as I have.
As I mentioned, the plot is very entertaining with a lot of creepy instances that you can expect from your run-of-the-mill stalker mystery. It's also a quick read with a steady pacing that makes it easy to fly through. There were a few things from the plot that stood out as a bit unrealistic to me, though. For instance, Sawyer wants to know more about a few of the crimes so, at the police station after falsely claiming an interview (homework) was left for her, she is given the OK by an office to rummage freely through another cop's work desk, after which she finds and takes confidential case files and other personal police papers that were laid-out on it. No way would an officer allow a teenage girl to "look for her homework" on a detective's desk by herself like that. Yes I know this is very specific but I watch a lot of cop shows and it annoyed me. Another thing I have difficulty believing is how the killer could have achieved one of the killings. It would take some serious ability to put a dead body in such a position by oneself. I'm not saying it's impossible with adrenaline and careful planning, but it's still a stretch - in this case especially but I can't argue this further without spoilers.
Truly Madly Deadly did have its problems for me, but in the end I can honestly say that I had fun reading it. It's definitely a decent thriller that amounted to a few chills and thrills along the way.
-- An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.
1.5 Stars What's the best thing about mystery novels? Oh, right, the mystery part. Which sadly, this had none of what-so-ever. It seems that this novel tries too hard getting the romance started and the deaths exciting and freaky that it hopes that that'll distract readers from how predictable the killer is. Because I promise you, it's the first person you suspect it to be.
It's actually sad how much I wanted to like Sawyer, really. She's been through a shit load of mishaps and her life totally sucks. But instead of that pushing her forward she cowers and keeps her head down. She doesn't act upon normal instincts until it's almost too late and well...she's really slow. Even when the killer revels them-self to her, she just can't believe it and keeps asking. "why?". Hell, even the stalker person calls her dumb! Multiple times! All of the characters are flatter than a piece of paper and did I mention just how predictable this story is?
On a better note, I did find the writing to be okay which is saying a lot because I hate third person writing especially when the characters suck ass. There are a few well done scenes, like some of the deaths that left gruesome, freaky images in my mind.
Overall, Truly, Madly, Deadly is a really disappointing book. It's predictable and has nothing but boring characters in it. So, no, I don't recommend this book to anyone unless you don't mind really predictable books that you figure out who done it after like, ten pages.
Oh my god, this book was SO CREEPY! The person I suspected was the murder did turn out to be the right one however I was confused and uncertain the whole time. Such an amazing mystery/thriller! _________________________
Truly, Madly, Deadly was freaking fabulous. It was thrilling, creepy, entertaining, and most of all gripping. It seriously kept me on my toes in terms of trying to figure out who the killer is. I am a huge fan of crime shows such as The Mentalist and Criminal Minds. Because of how much I watch them I tend to easily pick up on the tiniest hints and stories so I tend to always figure out the culprit quickly, which is why I haven't read a good murder mystery in a while, but then comes along this one!
Sawyer's boyfriend died of a presumed drunk driving accident, however Sawyer finds out that someone murdered him, and now that someone will do everything, even kill more people, to keep Sawyer from getting hurt again. I find novels like those deliciously creepy and am able to read them in a sitting if they are good, and believe me, Truly, Madly, Deadly is so good. While I was able to guess who the killer at the beginning, Hannah Jayne's way of laying out the plot and making everyone seem like the culprit (but in such a subtle way) that I was doubting myself throughout the whole novel. Very tiny hints were dropped about each person that make you think that maybe this is the killer, and not that one. I was playing Guess Who? (if you guys know this game) till the last couple of pages before the killer was revealed, then I had my "AHA!" moment. Sawyer as a protagonist was great; Jayne portrayed her in a realistic way. Sawyer was not perfect by any means, she kept the letter from her family, friends, and even the police. I personally would have ran to the police station and handed it to them, but she decided to do this on her own. However things escalated from then on and I believe her decisions and action was well thought out and she tried to protect her family, even if it meant implicating her in some serious business.
Overall, Truly, Madly, Deadly was able to keep me engaged and at the edge of my seat throughout the whole book. It is one of the best thriller/murder YA novels I have read in a while and I can't wait to pick up any new books released by Ms. Hannah Jayne!
I was lucky enough to get a sneak read of this book and I have to say, it is incredible. I read it in one night. Couldn't put it down. I think that Hannah Jayne is this generation's Lois Duncan. A great new YA author to watch.
Oh my god. This book was awful! I'm so upset with myself for picking this up at the bookstore! So apparently, the MC was in an abusive relationship which I thought was seriously underplayed. I wish we got to see more between sawyer and Kevin than just vague thoughts like "his anger was always directed toward me". Okay, how? Show me, don't tell me! And the "bad guy" that has been murdering people throughout the book decides to give up hurting people in the name of love? Yeah I don't buy it. This is lazy writing with too many red herrings. This MC is TSTL. she thinks EVERYTHING is a prank! So obnoxious! And there is a love story in here! Ugh! So not necessary!
Want to know what happens when you don't leave reviews for books you read? You accidentally borrow them from the library (again), read the first chapter, think it sounds super familiar and then realize you already read the book and hated it.
So, I guess I get to leave a proper review this time... tomorrow.
Here are all the notes and commentary I took for the first TWO chapters (and then one or two words about a few other things) while reading the book. (I'll post as much as the character limit will allow)
Zero stars, but that’s not legal, so one.
This book is so awkwardly written. I read the opening lines like, seven times (even had my husband read them) and we still have no idea what the author was trying to convey.
Quoted directly from my e-book: “Thank you for coming.”
The words rose and fell on the soft pile carpet, and Sawyer wondered whether she should brush the small ball of fuzz from Kevin’s earlobe. It stuck there, stark and white against the dark navy blue of his suit.
What in the everloving heck is any of that supposed to mean??? What does the soft pile carpet, the ball of fuzz on an earlobe and a dark navy suit have to do with anything? How on earth does a ball of fuzz on an earlobe stand out against a navy suit?
It’s also super awkward that they’re having an open casket viewing in the home of the kid who died. I know wakes are a thing and there are many cultures who do mourn the dead in their home, but that isn’t explained. We’re just supposed to accept that they’re having an open casket viewing in their home.
Then we get an info dump that is completely pointless and only makes the entire narrative confusing. So, it should have all been cut, or written better (a common problem in this novel).
Then we get an entirely not important scene with the choir teacher passing out their new choir uniforms after Sawyer complains about how ugly the uniforms had been for the last who knows how long (I’m surprised they get new uniforms every year. Most schools have to resume uniforms until they fall apart or they get special money to buy new ones. Why? I’m assuming because the story could have been told in about two chapters and we had to pad the whole thing out somehow. As a non-relevant aside (which is also prevalent in the story) I absolutely hate that they’re the Hawthorn High Honeybees. What an absolutely moronic mascot. I’m sorry. I can’t with this. Can you imagine being on the Honeybee Football team? You’d be laughed off the field in about two seconds. There’s some more non-important info dumping about Sayer getting a solo in a song they’re going to sing as a tribute to her recently dead boyfriend.
Then there’s your typical girl hate for no reason other than because of a boy. And of course it’s okay to make fun of someone who is grieving a loss because she’s the evil girl at school.
I’m not sure what middle-aged, mid-life crisis suffering person would think a 30 year old looks like a high school student for no apparent reason. Not because he has a baby face, or because he’s of slight stature or anything. Just because of his age. Oh, right so the teenager can drool all over him but then slut shame a girl for getting a ride home from him in the next sentence. Lovely.
The completely unexplained hatred of Sawyer’s stepmother. Calling an unborn child The Spawn.
This absolutely stupid mint green envelope with the article and the stupid note. I honestly don’t understand why this has to be so mysterious. Why couldn’t the note say what it was supposed to mean? Because Sawyer has to jump to conclusions later to figure out what’s going on.
More pointless filler about flowers to raise money for junior prom (I thought Sawyer was a senior… or maybe I don’t know). And we get to learn about Cooper who is from some state that no one cares about, so why bother to mention it?
Apparently Sawyer runs for the track team, but never goes to practice. So I guess that’s not really important either.
More pointless info dumping about why she has a nice new car, which she apparently hates. Or resents. Or I don’t even know. I guess she’d rather take public transportation and have to walk 33 miles to school. SPEAKING OF WHICH. WHY IN THE HECK IS SHE DRIVING 33 MILES TO SCHOOL??????????? That just, I don’t even. What??? (As an aside, when I was in high school we did have a handful of students who drove about 15 miles to school, just because they lived in the middle of nowhere as in farm land nowhere. Not I’m going to build a freaking subdivision 30 miles away from everything because reasons that are only important to this story)
Oh, so the actual school mascot is the Fighting Hornets. I’m sorry but why can’t the choir be the singing hornets or something. Especially since honeybees and hornets are two different insects.
Can someone please tell me if their high school every had the football team, cheerleaders and marching band practicing at the same time? Because that just sounds like a logistical nightmare.
So, because the entire team leaves practice wearing memorial t-shirts for poor dead Kevin our brilliant protag realizes that SOMEONE KNEW about Kevin. Yeah, we don’t get to know what they know, or how they know it, or anything helpful. Just that they know. Cool.
Andrew Dodd (Sawyer’s father) must always be referred to as Andrew Dodd. Just in case we meet someone else named Andrew. Oh, we don’t. Shoot. I thought maybe that’s why he must always have a first and last name.
Also this quote: Frank BIggs looked exactly like you’d expect a man named Frank Biggs to look --like a mustached fireplug in a short-sleeved, button-down shirt; a stained blue tie; and khakis that could use an iron or a dumpster.
Every adult in this story is a bumbling idiot.
Frank Biggs is Detective Biggs and wants to ask some questions about Kevin’s death. He wants to know about a shoe, but we get a bunch of other stupid questions and then all subtilty is thrown out the window when he asks about a shoe.
I also don’t understand this line: The passenger seat was moved back--just enough for someone to have slipped out the door.
Why would someone need to move a seat back to slip out the door? Maybe if I got some context as to what was going on with the state of the car this would make a lot more sense.
While Sawyer is looking for her shoes she wonders why someone would be in the car with Kevin and let him drive if he was drunk. SHe knew he was drunk and left him alone. Why? Who the heck knows. Sawyer is trying to create tension or something by not telling us ANYTHING about her relationship with Kevin. Except he was mean and hit her. Maybe.
Sawyer’s dad has some weird heart to heart with Sawyer about her needing to give her stepmom a chance. Sawyer is a brat and whines about things. From what we’ve read so far Tara (the stepmother) has done absolutely nothing wrong, but Sawyer is upset because Detective Biggs told her dad and her stepmom that they have a smart daughter. And this irritates Sawyer. And apparently Dad has ESP and knows this has irritated Sawyer and they have a completely pointless conversation that serves no purpose and offers no insight at all into why Sawyer hates the poor woman.
Sawyer completely flips her poop because her dad says she’s strong. And then we get this gem: … people started calling her strong just because she didn’t start cutting herself or bring a gun to school.
I’m sorry, but is that a normal response to your parents getting divorced. Good news. We can now end school shootings by banning divorces. Someone alert the press. How callous can you be to assume that school shooters are because of a divorce? What is the point of putting that in the book? It serves absolutely no purpose and is in extremely bad taste.
More blathering about Kevin and how he was so great, even though we all know he’s not great and I’m just really over it.
There are weird jumps in time that are broken out with section dividers. We go from Sawyer promising her dad to try harder with Tara to it being half past eleven and she can’t sleep. It’s so jarring to jump time like that and not have some kind of indication of it beforehand.
Sawyer looks at the stupid note again because aparently it hlds the keys tot he universe or something, but then she puts in back in her dressers between some boy shorts and a novelty thong. Again. Why is this in here?
Then there’s some creepy car cruising through her deserted subdivision (because her family is the only one living there, again, only for the plot purposes of the story). It’s really important fo rus to know this creepy car only has one tail light.
Sawyer takes her prescribed sleep medication, even though it makes her groggy the next day.
And that’s the end of the first two chapters.
I'm honest not sure how this book ended up beign published. It's just generally not any good. There's also so much time between events that it drags and doesn't do anything to keep you on the edge of your seat like a thriller should.
I'm very very sad I didn't rate it earlier so I could have spared myself the pain of trying to read it again.
The potential for creepiness was off the charts with this book. The title, the cover, those two eerie words. All of this led me to believe that Truly, Madly, Deadly would be a great psychological thriller...the kind that would keep me up reading till all hours of the night and leave me with disturbing dreams.
Somehow, the execution failed to deliver for this reader. First, the book was relatively short and I read it pretty quickly, so there was no need to stay up reading and invite nightmares of my own making. But I think the book suffered because of the length. The pacing was rather quick, pushing the reader toward red herring after another, and though my theory from left field came to fruition, I still don't like the why and how of it.
That's partially because the characters themselves, as well as their motivations, never made all that much sense. For one, the main character is the girl in the horror film who runs upstairs instead of getting out of the house and calling for help when she realizes the murderer is in the house with her. I detest that character. She never once makes an intelligent, informed decision. There was also insta-love which led to behavior that, considering the circumstances, was inappropriate at best and nearly deplorable at other times. It left me feeling a bit skeeved out.
The plot itself was pretty meh. Lots of stuff happens, but therein lies the problem. Too much is packed into such a short novel and none of it was explored to my liking. Things happened, there was a period of freaking out, and then the event was forgotten for the most part. There's even a Mr. Fitz-type situation, and while I've accepted it on PLL, it was too much for me in this story. Especially when the situation came out of nowhere, wasn't reported, and the main character delved no further into it when the next freak-out occurred.
Pretty much, if this book hadn't been so short, I would have DNF'd it. I was already pretty certain who the "admirer" was early on, and I didn't have all that much interest in seeing if I was right. But I saw it through to the end, anyway. And here I am, still disappointed. It almost makes me curious to see if the author's adult series is any better. Almost...
Thanks to Sourcebooks and Netgalley for providing a copy for review.
I don't usually like to read abusive-type books, but for some reason this one sounded really interesting. Turns out that I was right. Truly, Madly, Deadly is a dark and disturbing story about the depths in which a person would go to prove how much they care, but in the form of completely twisted. We begin our story with Sawyer Dodd at her boyfriend, Kevin Anderson's funeral, but Sawyer doesn't know how to feel. Sad that her boyfriend died in a car accident or relieved since he can no longer hurt her. Trying to move on from the lost, Sawyer goes back to school, but when she opens her locker there's a note inside that simply says; Your Welcome.
Wow, I'm not even sure what to say about this one. I've read my share of whodunit mysteries, but I have to say that this one seemed to really focus on making the main character go through an endless amount of emotional turmoil. Sawyer's life is so out of control that I'm amazed that she's even sane enough to walk straight. It felt like everything was happening to this poor girl all at once and as the story moves on the mystery begins to build-up even more as people are getting hurt that are involved with Sawyer in one way or another.
Hannah Jayne's writing is very strong. I love the way she moves this story along, giving us more then enough material and suspects to keep us guessing and on our toes throughout the entire book. At times some of the events did feel a little overwhelming since it was one thing after the other, after the other with really no breathing room in between, but I think it was intentional since the character was meant to feel the magnitude of the stalkers warped affections. I also think Jayne did a remarkable job getting into the mind of our obsessed-admirer. This person was truly unhinged, creepy and completely mad, doing things all in the name of love.
While reading, most of these characters seemed to earn a glaring suspicious eye from me almost right away. With a large enough cast of characters it was hard to guess who was behind all these strange events. I really enjoyed our main protag, Sawyer. I liked her voice. It was raw, real and heartfelt and I couldn't help feel invested with her from minute one. My heart really did go out to her but I was also a little frustrated with her at times and wish she would have told someone what was going on before it was to late. Chloe is a dedicated friend and made a huge impact in Sawyer's life. There is a very little romance in this one but what we did get was very sweet. Cooper is a good people and I'm glad that he was there for Sawyer when she needed someone. We did get a few flash-back memories with Kevin, but I wish we got a few more since I didn't feel completely connected to him and therefore couldn't sympathize with Sawyer the way I wanted to regarding him, but then again, the string of ill intentions paired with all the events that unfolded more then made up for that.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. Great writing and characters and the story-line has an incredible mix of thriller, mystery and even has a spark of romance. The ending and the stalker revelation had me completely shocked. I never saw that one coming and thought it was a brilliant move by Jayne. This is an author to look out for peeps. Well done!
So yeah, this wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be. The blurb sold it for me - girls boyfriend dies in an accident only to find out that someone killed him for her and now she's being stalked by a killer and omg this should be terrifying! It wasn't. Ultimately it came down to two things:
1. Sawyer was just dumb.
2. I knew who did it by the second chapter.
If people were ending up dead around you, you had proof that someone was stalking you and then trying to frame you, WHY WOULDN'T YOU TELL ANYONE? No, instead Sawyer tells NO ONE and just complains about how unfair her life is. It was so frustrating but it boils down to the fact that you have to have a smart heroine lead the story and that was lacking here.
This book also falls into the trap of poor YA parenting. And I get that this book is about 7 years old and YA has come along way since then, but still. The parents were horrible. Let's not even talk about how your daughters boyfriend just died, but there's obviously other trauma surrounding her. And are her parents there? Well, her mother is across the country because she had a job offer she couldn't pass up - we see her once on a phone call. And her father is never home and when he is, he wants to talk about his new wife and their upcoming child. Grade A parenting.
Jayne also tries her hand at introducing some heavy topics in the midst of the murder and mayhem. There's the subject of an abusive relationship and then the almost sexual assault between a teacher and student. But they are only a blip and never really explored in depth. They just happened to Sawyer and then moved on. I would have liked to see her psyche more affected by this horrific things and the break down of her security. I didn't feel the urgency or the fear at anytime in this book and that's where it failed me.
I requested Truly, Madly, Deadly months ago from NetGalley and never heard from them. The book was just withering in my "pending request" pile, and I had given up on receiving the book ages ago. So imagine my surprise when I was suddenly approved for the title a week before its release. I was ecstatic and dove into the book immediately, only to be utterly disappointed by this YA mystery I have been yearning to get my hands on.
Truly, Madly, Deadly follows Sawyer Dodd, an well-known and accomplished high school student who is grieving over the death of her popular, long-term boyfriend Kevin Anderson who died in a drunk driving accident (he was the drunk one) a couple of weeks before our story starts. Sawyer is sad, of course, but she is also harboring a couple of secrets about their relationship. One, she broke up with Kevin the night he died, and two, Kevin had been abusive to her for the duration of their relationship. A fact that Sawyer believes no one knows. She is shocked one day when she opens her locker to find a note written on a mint green note-card that only says the words, "You're Welcome." Sawyer is shocked and confused. Was Kevin's accident actually murder? Did somebody know he was abusing her all along? Is this just a prank? Sawyer wants to believe that it is until more and more people around her are hurt--or worse--people who have treated Sawyer badly in the past and those simply close to her.
Sawyer lives with her father and his new pregnant wife in a new housing development on far edge of town in which no other houses are yet filled. This is sufficiently creepy as she is often home alone. I always find housing developments kind of creepy to begin with (they always seem so cold to me), but having house after empty house surrounding you is so eerie and I applaud the author for this aspect. It was one of the few things I really liked about the story. Sawyer's mom is a lawyer who moved out of the house and out of town immediately after the divorce when she is offered partnership at a prestigious firm. Her mom is barely mentioned and appears in only one scene via Skype. The father and her step-mother are also often absent, which was a bit unbelievable, but helped to up the creep factor.
**Due to the nature of this book, I'd suggest that if you are still excited to read it that you stop reading now. I'm not going to give away any major plot points or spoil the ending (can you imagine), but with mysteries, it's always best to go in blind, in my opinion. I want to discuss some of the problems I had with this book and will try to do so in as vague a manner as I can, but it would impossible not to discuss some aspects of this book without giving some small details away.**
There were a couple of problems with this story. The biggest is Sawyer's lack of contacting any authorities immediately, including her own parents. At one point something that is sent to her screams: I'm a clue! and she doesn't do anything with it. Dumb. I mean, her mother is a big-time lawyer, if nothing else I would think she would turn to her, absent or not.
Also, her long-term boyfriend just died making a new love interest seem unrealistic. Yes, she had broken up with him. Yes, he was abusive. But I had a hard time believing that she would be interested in anybody new so soon after such a traumatic experience. I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on abusive relationships. I'm not. I have absolutely no first-hand experience with it and neither does anybody that I'm close with, but it just seems like it romance would be the last thing on your mind.
The tone of the story was extremely uneven. I read an ARC, so this will hopefully be worked on before the final product comes out. But I can only judge what I read. At one point she kisses someone and somebody else sees and she thinks, "Shit, I just told the guy who saw that I wasn't ready to date" (I'm sure it's obvious that isn't a direct quote). I was so confused because I didn't remember the scene she was referring to and wondered how I missed it...and then the scene she was referring to happened like 20 pages after that scene. This was a glaring error and one I hope they catch before the end.
Finally, the book only allows for a few small amount of viable suspects, making it incredibly easy to figure out who's behind it all. I figured it out about half-way through, so the rest of the novel was just how it would all play out.
On a positive note, the book is extremely fast-paced and fairly fun to read despite its flaws. I flew through the book in a couple days and it held my interest the entire time. I've been going through an epic slump lately--picking up one book, reading 10-20%, putting it aside, picking up something else, on repeat times 20. So it was seriously so nice to have something hold my interest for the duration. And that is truly saying something.
Overall, this book is quick and easy. I love the genre of YA mysteries so had just hoped for more, but if you like the genre and are looking for a quick read, you may enjoy this more than I did.
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.*
1. Starts out strong with a typo on page 23. “Why wouldn’t they say they were in car?”
2. Chloe was able to get “so drunk” in the 20 seconds it took Sawyer to walk from the front door to the kitchen? (Page 58)
3. Cooper literally said “the name sounds familiar” in response to Sawyer saying she was Kevin’s girlfriend. Cooper, are you saying that you were unaware of the tragic death of your popular peer even though there were literally in memorial posters in the hallways and the athletes had memorial shirts? They brought in grief counselors for when Hanson died, so presumably there were people on campus for Kevin’s death too. But Cooper just didn’t notice? Ok. (Page 60)
4. Ok this is wild. On page 91 Logan catches Sawyer and Cooper kissing and Sawyer feels guilty because she told Logan she wasn’t ready to date. ONLY THIS HASN’T ACTUALLY HAPPENED YET. Sawyer does not have that conversation with Logan until page 136. On page 91 she is referencing a conversation that does not take place until page 136. What. The. Fuck. NO ONE EDITED THIS BOOK OMG.
5. When Sawyer’s clothes are destroyed, Chloe tells her she can be at the school in a few minutes with clothes and sawyer says no because then she’ll be stuck in traffic. EXCUSE ME? Traffic is more important than walking around your high school naked? Girl... (page 147)
6. THIS ONE IS GREAT. Ok, so on page 157, Sawyer is talking to Stephen Haas. It is just the two of them in the room while Sawyer tells Stephen about the notes she’s been getting. After she tells him, it says, “Nate leaned back in his chair” ... WHO IS NATE. THAT IS NOT EVEN A CHARACTER IN THIS BOOK. SERIOUSLY WHO EDITED THIS?
7. Why does Maggie allow a third grade picture of the girl she absolutely hates to sit in her families living room? WHY? And how does Maggie’s mom not know that her and Sawyer are not friends anymore? Maggie literally just got suspended for fighting Sawyer. Her mom didn’t ask why she was suspended? (Page 194)
8. Chloe... Lordy. How did she even know about Hanson assaulting Sawyer? They were in a closed classroom. And wait... Sawyer left school before Chloe... so how did Chloe have time to get to Sawyer’s house, attempt to kill Tara, and also attempt to kill Cooper all before Sawyer got home?
I truly want everyone in the world to read this book just to wonder with me how this is the finished product. I mean... wow. I’m genuinely thinking about writing to the author. I am so confused about these HUGE errors. HOW IS NO ONE TALKING ABOUT NATE OR THAT WHOLE THING WOTH SAWYER WORRYING ABOUT LOGAN BEFORE THEY HAVE EVEN TALKED? AHHH
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I love thrillers and mysteries. They are probably among my top favorite genres, although, looking at my ratings, one would think that I absolutely despise them. Though I do love the whole idea of the genre, the problem is that not all authors can handle it well, especially in YA. Case in point, Truly, Madly, Deadly. Awesome premise and good atmosphere, but sadly, badly written and totally predictable. The tone of the novel was all over the place; the clues were glaringly obvious; there were inconsistencies between what was shown, what was said and the characters reactions; the high school life part of the plot was riddled with cliches, poorly constructed characters and silly interactions; the romance was forced and totally unnecessary; the protagonist's development was shallow and unlikable; the culprit was obvious since almost the beginning; it asked for a lot of suspension of disbelief; there were were ridiculous plot devices like anyone actually allowing a high school student to see police files of ongoing cases; the novel included relevant topics like psychological and physical abuse and then brushed them aside; and the writing was repetitive and uninspiring, all of Sawyer's emotions rushing through her veins or setting at the pit of her stomach or crashing over her. The book gets a 2.5 rating from me because I still like the thematic, it had some really good moments with the atmosphere and it was really easy to get hooked into the novel.
3.38 stars This was an interesting mystery story, but the pace was a little slow.
Sawyer was an interesting character, and I felt really sorry for her when it seemed that she was being victimised. She was obviously in quite a difficult situation seeing as how her boyfriend just died in suspicious circumstances, and it was quite creepy the way it seemed like someone was following her and killing people for her.
The storyline in this was okay, but the pace was a little slow. I was interested to find out what was going on though, and I liked the occasional creepy moment. It would have been nice if there had been a few more creepy moments, and if the pace had been a little faster. There was a little romance, but I found it quite odd the way boys were trying to chat Sawyer up when her boyfriend had only just died!
The ending was alright, and I didn’t guess who the killer was. I did enjoy this book overall; but it could have been better. 6.75 out of 10.
I didn't even know young adult thrillers were a thing until I read this book! If you're trying to get into reading thrillers and aren't sure where to start - definitely read this one!
It's such a page-turner and only took me 24 hours to read!! A few things I loved: - Witty banter (always a vibe) - Somewhat of a detachment from death which always makes me feel better about being nonalive inside. - The bad guys get what's coming to them (really super satisfying) - Really couldn't predict the end!? Do you know how often that actually happens in a thriller?
Overall 3.5ish Psychological thriller revolving around an abusive relationship that has murderous consequences... sign me up.
Truly, Madly, Deadly starts out at the abuser, Kevin's memorial - so there is not a great deal of the abusive part of the relationship. You do see some of it through flashbacks; which helps you understand Sawyers jitteriness and reactions to certain situations. She makes some choices that are hard to understand if you aren't always looking over your shoulder. Always worried you will get "in trouble."
Once school starts back up Sawyer finds the "You're Welcome" letter in her locker. She now knows that someone knows Kevin abused her... and apparently killed him. From that point on - all these odd, frightening things start happening to Sawyer. Is she just imagining it? Is someone stalking her? Is she overreacting? That is what drives this story. You WANT to know what in the world is going on.
I enjoy books that keep me on my toes. Those stories that when you think you have it figured out, it throws you a curve ball. Truly, Madly, Deadly did just that - every time you think you know where the story is going, it changes. I had a gut feeling in the beginning about how the story would end... I was right, but up until those last few pages I thought my guess was WAY OFF.
This was a fast paced edge of your seat read. Definitely worth picking up. I did have one issue with the story... as a parent; I struggled with Sawyer's parents. The step mom was great, it was her dad and mother that acted selfishly and really messed with Sawyers head. I can't image not knowing something like this was going on with my child, much less distrusting her when she finally comes to you about the situation.
Continuing on with my Crap Book Friday trend (I should probably think up some sort of witty name for this but effort), today I’m reviewing Truly, Madly, Deadly, which turned out to be a truly crappy thriller. There are various reasons for this, but I’m going to keep it brief because I do not have the energy to go into a full blown rant, especially as I don’t think this book deserves that much attention.
First of all, I called the “twist” within the first couple of chapters. It was pretty obvious what was going on, and I’m not sure if the author even tried to keep it subtle, or if she wanted her readers to feel smart by figuring out who the stalker/killer was early on. Maybe it was meant to be a huge shocker at the end. #youtried
The main character, Sawyer, had an abusive boyfriend. That’s the guy that died. This in itself wasn’t an issue, but I felt like Sawyer didn’t really process things properly after his death. The abuse didn’t seem to affect her at all, which annoyed me. I think if you’re including abusive relationships in books, you need to address it properly and really flesh the abused character out. It felt really cheap here.
And then Sawyer went and got a new love interest, and seemed to completely disregard the fact that her abusive ex was a thing. The instalove here was terrible, and I was rolling my eyes from the start.
So I didn’t get all that invested in this book, and I definitely didn’t have fun trying to figure out the mystery or the twist, because the entire thing was so damn obvious from the beginning. And I didn’t really care about the characters. Truly, Madly, Deadly had the potential to be a fun teen slasher book, but unfortunately it turned out to be terrible. Don’t bother trying to read it.
okay I rarely ever leave books like these (unless they're on-hold). But I know deep deep deep down that I can't finish this book. I know how it's going to go down and I know I'm not gonna like it. Jeez this girl just met Cooper and I can feel the insta-love in my bones. I was hoping for more focus on the abusive relationship the main character (what is her name I don't even know) had with her dead boyfriend (fuck him btw) but ??? I don't think I can go on. I'm sorry.
Okay, I must admit that although this book was a bit predictable I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I liked the mystery and the chain of events. But there were things that bugged me too, like the stupidity of the adults and teachers.
I wish there was a happy ending for Logan because I felt sorry for him. Friendzoned to the nth power.
Anyway, I would recommend this book to teens who like mystery-romance novels.
This was a really short book and it wasn't as good as I expected. I did suspect Chloe and I understand that Jayne had to focus on other characters so that the ending isn't obvious but why did she focus so much on Logan and Stephen
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Overall I enjoyed this YA thriller but I had some problems with it.
1) the adults - specifically the parents, but really all of the adults in the novel. They were weak and ineffective. Her father and stepmother didn’t seem to care at all for what she might be going through and they didn’t talk to her or try to understand her - they just shipped her off to a psychiatrist and washed their hands of her.
2) how sawyer found evidence. That was pretty weak and not really believable.
3) the ending was fairly anticlimactic and seemed to end abruptly.
However, I did enjoy all the twists and turns and red herrings. The pacing was pretty good too.
honestly, like it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t like the best either. lovveedddd the cooper guy he was so sweet. it really had me thinking that forensics was paying off and that i had the person right but i did not!!!! never would’ve thought that it was her best friend. BRO KILLED HER BF HER TEACHER AND THE POPULAR GIRL AND WAS GONNA KILL COOPER BUT SHE FAILED. and she was gonna kill sawyer, the main girl, but cooper came and saved the day!!!! idk how i feel i don’t regret reading it but will not be rereading. 3.5 stars.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.