This gripping thriller follows two teens whose lives become inextricably linked when one confesses to murder and the other becomes determined to uncover the real truth no matter the cost.
What happened to Zoe won't stay buried...
When Anna Cicconi arrives to the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year's Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe's life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected--and that she knows what happened to her.
Two months later, Zoe's body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna's confession is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn't satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina's podcast uncover the truth?
Kit Frick is the author of B&N YA Book Club pick and Thriller Award finalist I Killed Zoe Spanos as well as the young adult thrillers See All the Stars, All Eyes on Us, Very Bad People, and The Reunion, and the poetry collection A Small Rising Up in the Lungs.
Readers interested in signing up for a monthly newsletter including book news and giveaways should visit her website at kitfrick.com. Kit doesn't accept GR friend requests but you can still follow her here for updates or connect with her on Twitter and Instagram, where she is most active.
I also initially said it would be hard to beat. The next thing I know, Kit Frick comes along with this stunner and shatters all of my predictions.
I loved this book so much, y'all. An all new favorite!!
I will admit, right out the gate, that I know this book isn't going to be for everyone. However, for me, this was pretty damn near perfect.
Our protagonist, Anna Cicconi, has accepted a position as a summer nanny for a family in the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills.
She has recently graduated high school and is trying to turn over a new leaf prior to starting college in the Fall.
This includes distancing herself from her life in the city, particularly her best friend, Kaylee, who is a major party girl.
Anna has been running wild lately and doesn't like how she feels about herself after. The blackout nights are the worst. She just needs to stay away from alcohol for the summer, put her head down, and concentrate on saving money for school.
Once she is settled into her guest cottage, she can hardly believe her luck. The little girl she is caring for, Paisley, is sweet and easy, plus the house she is staying in is completely swank.
Anna does have one problem though, the nights.
She has every evening off and needs to try to stay occupied; keep her mind off the bottle. It is never good for her to sit too long with her thoughts.
She starts to go on a lot of nighttime walks, exploring the property grounds and surrounding neighborhood.
It's on one of these excursions that she happens to meet the cute and mysterious boy next door, Caden. He is home from Yale for the summer, staying in his family mansion, Windmere.
Caden is surprised to meet Anna as well, as she looks shockingly like his fiance, Zoe Spanos, who has been missing since New Years Eve.
It's not the first time Anna has experienced this. Around town people are definitely shocked upon seeing the similarity between her and the missing girl.
Paired with the fact that Anna begins to have memories of Herron Mills, even though she has never been there before, it's not surprising when she starts to believe she and Zoe may have some sort of connection.
Interspersed amongst the current narrative chapters, we also have the transcripts of podcast episodes by Martina Green, investigating Zoe's disappearance.
Even though the police believe Zoe simply ran away, Martina, best friend of Zoe's younger sister, Aster, doesn't buy it. She begins her own investigation and documents it through her podcast.
I love, love, love using a podcast element as a way to tell a story and it was so well done here.
The back and forth, the way details of Zoe's life and disappearance are exposed, was absolutely intoxicating. Once I got into this story, I could not put it down.
Racing towards the conclusion, I had no idea how it was going to end.
Were Zoe and Anna connected? Was something supernatural happening? Is Zoe alive? Are Zoe and Anna the same person!?
I was confused. I was intrigued. I was loving every minute of it!
This is a summer Thriller everyone will want to read. I may read it again, actually, once the audiobook is released. I would love to see how they handle the podcast in the audio.
So, in short, if you love intense, twisty-turny Thrillers, with a possibly unreliable narrator, a podcast, amateur sleuthing and multiple red herrings, you definitely need to pick up I Killed Zoe Spanos!
Thank you so much to the publisher, Margaret K. McElderry Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review.
Here is the thing about me I really really enjoy reading y/a mystery thrillers because? No I am not gonna tell you , it's totally personal and you have no right to judge me which people do after I tell them that!!!!
So speaking of this book I think this is my highest rated y/a mystery thriller till now! I really enjoyed this book and one of the reason is I totally underestimated this book, I literally had no expectations from this book at all , I DNF it earlier because I found something more interesting to read.
The story starts when 16 year old Anna confessed to murdering of 19 year old Zoe spanos who is missing from 8 months . The story also follows the events that lead to her confessing this crime when she was employed as nanny in Herron hills where zoe lived, she can't shade the feeling of deja vu and impossible memories of her interesting with Zoe . The second pov is of Martina a 16 year old host of missing Zoe podcast , who believes that some part of Anna confession don't add up and she is determined to find the truth.
Why I liked this book?
✒ narration :- this is something I really wanna talk about , like the story is told from two POV Anna and Martina ( I will get back to them layer) , and how the pov jumps from past to present in alternating chapters giving us glimpses of both the times.
✒ Characters :- it's odd to say but I really could connect with these characters ( not that I killed someone) I think all of their actions and decisions were justifiable which is something I really look up to when reading mystery books because sometimes author just to make the book intersting make their characters do something stupid which seems unbelievable but I loved how author portrayed the importance of each character , I mean everyone you can't overlook anyone, everyone has a role to play!!
✒ Unreliable narration :- I want to point this out here, normally unreliable narrator don't work for me but it worked here, I loved it's use here.
✒ Absorbing and atmospheric :- I have mentioned it 12345 times, my love for small town mysteries ! So that explains it all I guess?!
✒ plot twists :- it is a wild ride till the end , that's all I am gonna say just read it to discover !( Just don't trust what Anna says!)
✒ more than a mystery :- the book lays stress on teen ambition , empowerment and drama , I mean when has a y/a mystery book offers so much , a side story to look up for, teens being ambitious about their future and drama which isn't cliche and childish .
✒ biracial reps :- this is something to appreciate the author for, there is a character named Caden( Zoe boyfriend, black / white origin) who discussed grappling with being raised by white adoptive parents , facing racialized suspicion as Zoe's boyfriend and feeling marginalized at Yale . She discusses it with such tenderness and knowledge that I felt the urge to mention it.
Recommended for everyone who love podcasts or simply looking for some good y/a mystery thriller.
This is interestingly gripping, surprising reading even though a little confusing, head spinning, exhausting experience you have when you time travel between now and then to find out what the hell happened to Zoe Spanos.
The story starts with interrogation part which Anna Cicconi confesses that she accidentally killed Zoe Spanos. And then we move back to learn her moving to a small Hamptons Village of Herron Mills for her clean slate, living her home to start her summer nanny gig. The people she meets telling her she reminds of Zoe Spanos who got lost a few months ago during New Year’s Eve and nobody hasn’t heard from them.
It’s strange for Anna to return the place where she’s involved in a crime. We know the criminals have a habit to return to the scene of crime. But it still doesn’t make sense. And there are too many plot holes about Anna’s confession which also picked interest of Martina Green, a teenager who is the host of Missing Zoe podcast.
What does Anna hide about the night Zoe has died? What did really happen to her?
Go on, give it a try: it’s a real whirlwind, exciting, smart, well-written YA thriller.
It’s advertised as it’s inspired by Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca. At the beginning of the book I didn’t get the connection but when you reach the middle, you start to sense some resemblances. But I may say with its unreliable narrator, mind numbing story-telling techniques, unique characterization, this is one of the original, well-crafted, dark novel, highly recommended to true crime podcast lovers!
Talk about a twisty YA thriller! Kit Frick has quickly become one of my favorite writers of teen mysteries, and for good reason; she's learned the subtle are of distraction. Most mediocre thriller writers can drop a generic red herring and then lead the reader to the big reveal, but it takes an incredibly dedicated and talented author to create multiple, believable scenarios that keep the reader floundering between them until the AHA! moment at the end, which is precisely what Frick does in each of her books. You may think you know what happened to Zoe, but there is a deeper, craftier game at stake, and you get more mysteries than you may have bargained for in this title. Highly recommended to fans of pod cast thrillers!
*Many thanks to the author and the publisher for my review copy.
Podcasts. Missing girl. Sketchy neighbours. Creepy houses. Summer flings. A new nanny is seen in town. One of the characters keeps on insisting that she killed Zoe Spanos. Why? Is she just our generic unreliable narrator or is there some hints of truth within her statement?
I Killed Zoe Spanos is a gripping ya thriller from beginning to end. Full of twists and heartbreaks, this is the best ya thriller so far. Maybe thrillers from this genre aren’t so bad after all. I love how this story started with a quivering “I killed Zoe Spanos” and ended with “I killed Zoe Spanos” now with full conviction.
Anna is new to Herron Mills in the Hamptons, working as a summer nanny. Her fun-filled summer is eclipsed by the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, who has been missing for a few months. Anna and Zoe look alike, and that only adds fuel to the fire about town.
When Zoe’s body is found two months later, Anna is charged with the crime. She confesses, but it’s a bit of a mess and doesn’t seem to fit the crime. Martina Green, another teen, is the host of the Missing Zoe podcast, and she works nonstop to prove that Anna isn’t really the killer.
This book was inspired by Rebecca! I still have not read Rebecca, but I want to read it all the more now. This book kept me guessing. Everything you thought was true will be challenged. Overall, it was pretty wild and exciting, and I enjoyed Kit Frick’s style!
I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own.
“But there are some secrets—my secrets—that Windermere will hold forever, trapped beneath the ash like spilled blood.”
Buddy read with my fellow detectives Mashie and Lucid Lucy
I killed zoe spanos by Kit Frick is a Young adult Murder mystery book that focusses on a girl named Anna. The book begings with Anna confesing too murdering Zoe Spanos, a teenage girl that was missing for a while and who's body was found by the police. We have two timelines in this book. We have chapters that follow Anna in the '' now '' time line which are chapters trough the eyes of Martina a young journalist , who is good friends with Zoe her sister. She is making a podcast about Zoe her case , she wants too find out the truth of what happend too Zoe because she doesnt believe Anna her confesion on murdering Zoe. Then we also have the '' then '' chapters that take place in the summer before Anna confessed on the murder of Zoe where she is in the area babysitting on a child as a fulltime nanny but this is in the area where Zoe is from. The story is bascially us readers trying too figure out what really happend too Zoe Spanos and how Anna is connected too the case. I dont really want too say more things about the plot because the thing with murder mysteries is that you really have too experience the plot on your own without knowing much before hand otherwise you cant be in the detective mood : p Also a weird thing is that Anna looks a lot like Zoe Hmmmm.... why is that hmmmmm
The beggining of the book started slow and i felt a little bored especially because we got a lot of '' Then chapters where nothing really happends besides seeing Anna being a Nanny. which was quite boring but when we get further intoo the book the mystery became more of the main point and i really enjoyed the murder mystery plot of this book once i got trough the first part. It has a lot of clues which makes you wondering a lot but they are all really weird and i had a lot of theories going too my mind while trying too figure it out but i didnt expected the truth too be what it was. I felt the murder mystery part of the book and plot where definitly well done and intresting and detective krizzie was very much in need of answers which made it quite addictive too keep reading. + great twistst and a good ending !! I also enjoy the part mental health plays in this book a bit. as i always love seeing that in books but i wont say anything else about that as * spoilers *: )
The book has also podcast parts which i expected too love as i did in sadie but in this one they didnt really added anything too the story in my opinion so i wasnt fully invested in them. i definitly do think the ending it unexpected and the plot was really adicting murder mystery wise in the second part of the book , the first few chapters where a bit slow with a lot of unneccesary boring scenes. I also love unreliable narrators in mystery books so that worked well for me. Other then that the charracter dont have a lot of depht and it is more murder mystery focused but i dont really mind as murder mystery is more about murder mystery then charracter you have too love.
Overall i reccomend this book too anyone who likes a murder mystery with a unreliable narrator and an intresting murder mystery plot. This was just a good murder mystery and was definitly addicting the second part. The first part is a bit slow and not that intresting so i feel like i cant give it 4 stars. But its definitly a fun murder mystery too play detective on and it isnt [ in my opinion ] an easy mysteryy.
* detective krizzie is out now. See you at the next case *
Anna decides that taking a summer nanny position in the Hampton's is just the fresh start that she needs before starting college. Over the last year her and her best friend have taken to the party scene. Drinking out of control, taking drugs for recreation, and hooking up with boys she can barely remember. Anna is now growing tired of the hang overs and black outs and yearns to get away.
Once she arrives in the Hampton's she quickly draws the eyes of strangers. It appears that she bears an uncanny resemblance to a local girl, Zoe Spanos, that has gone missing.
Two months later, when Zoe's body is found, it is Anna that confesses to her murder.
Martina Jenkins is best friends with Zoe's sister, Aster. A budding journalist in the making she starts and hosts the Missing Zoe podcast. Unsatisfied with Anna's confession she intends to find out who is actually responsible with killing Zoe.
I stumbled a bit in the beginning with keeping all the characters straight but once I hit the 20% mark this book really took off and I had a hard time putting this down. Until......
That Ending! GAH! It was all a bit too much if I'm being honest and I had a hard time suspending disbelief in what had been such a compelling story until then. Such a shame. The writing itself is terrific and after reading other reviews please know that I am in the minority with my opinion on this. Do read this if it piques your interest because you will be rewarded with a captivating mystery and while the ending didn't work for me it just may work for you. 3 stars!
Thank you to Edelweiss and Margaret K. McElderry Books for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
I think that this book was great! It was very confusing at times, the beginning was rough, and there were a lot of characters whose relevance was not needed, but nonetheless I never expected that plot twist!
This is split up into 3 different parts, one being a true crime podcast that I thought was very interesting.
The second section follows Anna, our main character, who looks eerily like Zoe Spanos, the murdered. Before she became a suspect, she got a babysitting job, in the exact same town, and that lead to all this unraveling, and to her confession.
The last is when she is being held for the crime. But Martina, Zoe's sister's friend, who runs the podcast doesn't believe that she truly is the person they are looking for. Anna herself does not even know, as all her memories of that night are blurry and she has her timeline messed up, as she used to be a heavy drinker.
All three parts are intertwined with each other, and give insightful perspectives that tie together this mystery.
All this time, all my theories, and this one never crossed my mind. While I don't feel any immediate nor certain love to this book, especially considering that it took me a painfully long time to get into it, and I do have some minor unanswered questions, I do recommend.
It was good. But for questionable reasons, it seemed as if there were two main narrators. So two narrators for one character. I didn't understand it, but otherwise I enjoyed this experience.
Twisty, compelling, and even a little creepy, Kit Frick's I Killed Zoe Spanos is a YA thriller worth reading. It'll hook you almost immediately, with well-drawn characters, lots of crazy twists and turns, and a mystery that keeps you guessing. Can you ask for much more than that?
Anna is looking forward to spending the summer in the Hamptons town of Herron Mills, where she'll be working as a nanny for a wealthy family. She's glad to be putting the rest of her life behind her, as she and her best friend Kaylee spent far too much time over the last year partying, drinking, taking recreational drugs, and hooking up with boys. She's ready for responsibility in this ritzy town, just before she gets ready to head to college.
Almost immediately after arriving in Herron Mills, Anna keeps hearing about her resemblance to Zoe Spanos, a local girl who went missing a few months earlier. Crazily enough, Zoe actually worked as a nanny for the same family Anna is working for now; in fact, the young girl in Anna's care, Paisley, wanted Anna to be her nanny because of her resemblance to Zoe.
The more time Anna spends in Herron Mills, the more she feels as if she's been there before, the more she feels a connection to Zoe. This can't be possible, of course, because she never met Zoe, and she'd never been to any of these places before. But why is she starting to remember spending time with Zoe and Kaylee? And why is it, when Zoe's body is found, that Anna confesses to her murder and the police believe it, even though her confession is clearly not true?
Frick knows how to tease out a mystery and she does it so well here. I'm so cynical when it comes to thrillers and mysteries, but I really wasn't sure how she would resolve things here. What is the truth? Who is lying? Was I missing some key connection? I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
I don't know that I loved the ending but it didn't ruin the book for me. There was so much I enjoyed about I Killed Zoe Spanos, including the weaving in of a true crime podcast, and it once again cemented how much I like Frick's storytelling. I'll be waiting for her next book!
I Killed Zoe Spanos is a twisting, psychological, young adult thriller. It incorporates a true crime podcast, police investigations and unreliable narrators in a unique and engaging way. We follow Anna, who recently got hired as a nanny for an affluent family in the Hamptons. When she arrives, she discovers that she has an uncanny likeness to Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has recently disappeared. Anna took on the job to start a clean slate after a year of hangovers and blackouts, but a few months later finds herself thrust into the spotlight when she gets charged with Zoe's murder.
I had relatively low expectations for this book considering I have been let down by some YA mystery/thrillers I have read recently. But I found myself thoroughly enjoying I Killed Zoe Spanos, and being hooked for the entire duration.
"Zoe Spanos is missing. And we’re missing Zoe”
I think the element that brought this book above the others I have read is the mixed media format and production of the audiobook. If you have access to it, I would highly recommend reading this book audibly. Interspersed throughout the book are podcast episodes trying to uncover the truth behind Zoe's disappearance. As a fan of true-crime podcasts, I found the one included to sound really true to form and elevate my enjoyment. It has sound effects, interviews and many different narrators to give the full effect. Apart from the podcast parts, I found the audiobook to be enjoyable for the more traditional chapters. It really enhanced the atmosphere and tension for me. (here is a link to it on libro.fm if you are interested!)
While I guessed a couple of the twists, I was ultimately surprised by the culmination of the story. I was hoping for a slightly more explosive and shocking ending, it was overall satisfying. I would recommend this to lovers of true-crime podcasts, unreliable narrators and twisty mysteries. I am excited to see what Kit Frick does next, and am grateful to her for renewing my faith in the YA thriller category!
Note to self: never let a child pick their own babysitter. never.
Jokes aside, this was overall okay. I did expect to like it more to be honest, but both the execution and the characters were a bit too flat for me. I can't remember a character who didn't act like a total moron, and I couldn't find a proper excuse for their behavior. I also think the first half of the book is unnecessarily long and so are many descriptions. Mystery factor is almost non-existent and totally anticlimactic, and definitely not the mind twisting one the premise promised. Totally a pity because that's exactly why I read this in the first place. Loved the ending, though, and also the fact that this book managed to keep me out of a slump, which is why I'm giving this book 3 stars instead of 2.
UPDATE 7/1/20: ⛱️I KILLED ZOE SPANOS⛱️ is out in the world, and I could not be more thrilled that it's the B&N YA Book Club pick for July!
UPDATE 4/3/20: Due to [gestures broadly] ⛱️I KILLED ZOE SPANOS⛱️ will be coming out a bit later than planned. New pub date June 30, 2020! This also means the Pre-Order Promo has been extended through 6/29/20, so there's more time to pre-order and make a difference. https://kitfrick.com/preorder/
UPDATE 3/23/20: Two exciting things! 1) There's a Goodreads giveaway for 100 PRINT ARCs running now through 4/15, so go forth and enter! 2) The ⛱️I KILLED ZOE SPANOS⛱️ Pre-Order Promo has launched! For every entry now through 6/1/20, I’ll be donating $2 to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to assist in their mission to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization. And I’ll send you a swag pack too! https://kitfrick.com/preorder/
UPDATE 1/8/20: The Street Team application is now open! Want to join me to promote my seaside murder mystery while completing challenges and earning swag & prizes? The ⛱️I KILLED ZOE SPANOS⛱️ street team application is open! Deadline to apply is Fri 1/17.
UPDATE 12/14/19: The interest form for the Early Reviewer List is now closed, buuuuut if you want to read ZOE early and join me for some fun book promo, you're in luck! Stay tuned in January for the Street Team application!
UPDATE 11/7/19: Are you a frequent reviewer on GR? Want to read an eARC for I KILLED ZOE SPANOS early? The interest form for the Early Reviewer List is now live!
UPDATE 7/1/19: The final title is here! WINDERMERE is now I KILLED ZOE SPANOS, and I'm so excited to share it with you all in summer 2020!
UPDATE 5/26/19: A new, improved title is coming! Hint: It has 4 words. Stay tuned. :)
I'm so excited to share Windermere with you in summer 2020! Think YA Rebecca in the Hamptons. This book was a BALL to write and combines so many things I love to read about in one suspenseful package--which is probably why I needed to write it. You're in for: *ALL the Rebecca Easter eggs! I grew up with the Daphne du Maurier classic, and while this is not a strict re-telling (the plot takes its own path; there's a departure from the classic villain and ending) fans of Rebecca will find a whole host of references and tributes in Windermere's pages. Oh--and the role of the “Rebecca” character is elevated in a feminist reversal of the classic! *A podcast produced by a local teen. When police drop the ball on the investigation of a missing girl, high school junior Martina Green produces her own investigative podcast to ask the hard questions the police seem to be ignoring. *The Hamptons! This setting was a blast to dig into, and you'll find allusions to Grey Gardens and Hamptons history, architecture, and lore here. *Two points of view + not one but THREE timelines.
I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick is a young adult thriller that is inspired by Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. This one is done in four parts with the chapters going between a then and now timeline with occasionaly there also being a transript of the podcast.
Then Anna Cicconi had been hired for a summer nanny position in the small village of Herron Mills in the Hamptons. Soon after arriving people begin to comment on how much Anna resembles Zoe Spanos who had gone missing the past New Years Eve. Anna finds that it’s no coincedence that she has so much in common with Zoe.
Now we find that Anna has confessed after Zoe’s body was found in a lake a couple of months after her fateful arrival in Herron Mills. However, not everyone is convinced Anna is guilty as her confession is full of holes so Martina Green, a teen who had been running a podcast on Zoe’s story becomes determined to get to the truth.
As complicated as the set up for I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick may sound it actually was pretty easty to follow as it switched between the then and now and sections of the story. Not having read Rebecca myself though I really can’t give a comparison as to how much this one was inspired by it. I did however think it was an interesting story on it’s own and enjoyed reading it myself.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
An unreliable narrator and a mystery that just keeps getting weirder? Yes please! This was hella fun to read and totally messed up. Even if you figure out some of the pieces, there will still be a puzzle. Thanks to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada for my DRC.
Wow! I haven't been this engrossed by a YA thriller since Eileen Cook's You Owe Me A Murder--and I Killed Zoe Spanos is another rare YA thriller that gives adult titles a run for their money.
Loosely based on Rebecca (you definitely don't have to have read it to enjoy this novel, says the person who vaguely remembers it from hs) I Killed Zoe Spears is about Anna, a girl from NYC who comes to the Hamptons to be a nanny and escape her current life. As soon as she arrives, the mystery of what happened to Zoe, who has been missing for months, takes over Anna's life.
It's a crackling, tense read, with about 800 possible killers (including Anna) and I did *not* see the killer coming and I love it when that happens!
Atmospheric, smart, and complex, with richly drawn characters and a nonstop story, I Killed Zoe Spanos is what Courtney Summers' Sadie should have been, and will absolutely appeal to YA readers as well as adult thriller/suspense/mystery readers. One of the best books I've read in 2020 and very highly recommended.
Very good! This novel is a young adult psychological suspense with a Rebecca-like atmosphere and a modern twist — a teen-hosted true crime podcast. Recommended if you enjoy Gothic mystery/suspense. Read for the B&N YA Book Club.
July had been a hellish in the book world for me. If you notice, I kind of got into a bad books streak this month. The highest I could manage was a three star. It’s not the books’ fault, of course. I literally have several books lying around in my shelf but I have yet to find the motivation to read said books and read other books instead.
So I present to you: the YA The Girl on the Train, the first book with more than a 3 star rating of July 2020 for now; even though it’s already the 28th. If you like mind-fucking stories with twists and turns and unreliable narrators, this one is for you.
Anna Cicconi is one of the trouble kids at Bay Ridge (I think it’s called Bay Ridge? Forgive me if I spelled it wrong). She’s that girl. One that lives for the party life, fucked herself up and ended up going home in a police car. In the summer before going away from college, she decided she needed a clean slate, so she applied for a job as a nanny for this rich family in another town. When she arrived, she didn’t expect to be regarded in a cold way by the townsfolk. Apparently, Anna had a very similar face to a Zoe Spanos, a nineteen year old girl who recently went missing.
Now here’s the deal: this book has two interloping timelines; the past chapters when Anna first started her nanny job, and the present chapters when she was arrested and the case was under investigation. Now here’s the dealbreaker: there are podcasts.
The ‘present’ chapters are written in such a compelling way that I flew through them but the ‘past’ chapters could use a little more work. Aside from the fact that it used a first person POV (Anna’s) and it was narrated in a not-so-good way, there are so many fillers. Though there’s a certain chill when you read the past chapter, many parts of the past chapters are like fillers and unnecessary, boring, teen drama stuff going on. It’s mostly about Anna making friends, nannying and being a creep (we’ll get into that later). It kind of took away the chill and sometimes I had to convince myself that I was reading a thriller, not a contemporary romance.
Anna herself is quite a boring protagonist. She’s two dimensional and her character doesn’t have enough depth to make me like her. I’m not even sure she has a personality. Also, she’s a CREEP. I don’t understand how her gears work and why she did whatever the hell she did but we spent a good deal of the past chapters reading about her stalking habits. To keep it simple, she got into a ‘relationship’ with Caden Talbot, who was Zoe’s boyfriend. Anna met Caden when she creepily visited his house in the middle of the night. Over the course of the book, she also stealthily broke into Caden’s home and even using her employer’s computer while she was away from home. Maybe I was wrong; maybe she has a personality, but I had a hard time seeing that past her obsession with Caden. Her entire personality could be summarized perfectly in page 200:
I know it’s none of my business what’s on it, but… it feels like my business now.
But well, she’s a protagonist in a thriller novel and all thriller novel protagonists are creeps.
But as boring as she was, reading Anna’s chapter make me notice right off the bat that there was something wrong with her, and I can’t shake that feeling. The thriller element; that feeling that there’ something dark and unsettling behind the good façade is there which proves how talented Kit Frick is. As mundane as the past chapters are (because they mostly speak about teen drama stuff), it inserts the thriller chill little by little which makes me the more curious to find out what exactly went wrong on New Year’s eve. It was a quick read and it was satisfying.
The podcast element though, was slightly of a disappointment. The podcast transcripts were written in a childish way and it came out all wrong. But looking back, I think it kind of suits because that said podcast was done by an amateur sixteen year old girl after all.
I think this is one of those books that could be a 5 star material had it been handled in a better way; a little tweak here and there and voila! It’s a total mind-fuck and half of the time I don’t even know what the hell is going on and which of the characters’ stories are true. I think it would do a little better if the author tried to insert more ‘foreshadowing’ leading up to the big reveal because I would’ve enjoyed it more had there been more foreshadowing and less mundane teen life. It was a solid 3 star read because even though I enjoyed how things wrapped up, I was kind of bummed with the past chapters. That extra 1 star was for chapter 36 alone because what the fuck?
A murder mystery, podcast style! I’m such a sucker for books like this. The book alternates between a first person POV, our main protagonist Anna, who scored a summer nanny gig in the Hamptons, and a third person POV with Martina, our podcast host. I really enjoyed how the story comes together. If you enjoyed Sadie by Courtney Summers and/or Serial, check this one out!
I’m so mad for putting this book off for so long. This is my second YA murder mystery with a podcast involved and I love this style so much.
The book it written in two points of views: Anna (who confessed to killing Zoe Spanos) and Martina (who believes that Anna’s confession doesn’t add up). The POVs jumps from Anna and Martina/past and present a lot, so I was kind of confused at first but once I sat down and dedicated myself to finishing the book it was easier to keep track of the timeline.
Aside from Anna confessing to killing Zoe, she has also been told that she looks like Zoe which added to the mystery even more. As Anna spends more and more time in Herron Mills, she gets the feeling that she’d been there before. I’m not normally a fan of unreliable narrators, but this one was amazing!
The ending was nothing like I imagined it would be. Once we find out who killed Zoe, I thought that would be it for plots twists but I was wrong. That last chapter made me gasp.
If you like YA thrillers, this is an excellent (and quick read) for you!
Yesssss!!!! You're going to need this YA book on your summer reading list! 👏
Soooo so very twisty! This book was so damn good!! I read it in three sittings - and that's only because life got in the way. I could have easily binged this entire book! The plot is so freaking brilliant, the podcast element was crazy good - the characters were interesting and I found myself guessing throughout entire book.
I truly had NO clue until the very end, what the outcome of this mystery would be! Full of twists & turns... I enjoyed falling down this rabbit hole of a novel quite a lot.
Unfortunately , it just didn’t have that something for me; it didn’t really live up to my high expectations (which is more my fault than the book’s, honestly), I suppose, but still a good, fun, & thrilling read!
I've been stuck in a three-star funk lately, and I think it's all my fault. It was definitely my fault with this one, more of an it's not you, it's me kind of situation. The concept was fun, and it incorporated some of my favorite thriller tropes (even though I'm a newbie to the genre): beachy mystery, misleading narrator, and podcasts. It had everything I love, we just didn't click for some reason.
The book opened really strong, with our MC Anna confessing to the murder of Zoe Spanos. Then we skip back three or so months to when she was a nanny for this rich family in the Hamptons and relive everything to get up to that point. There were two kinds of chapters, Then and Now. The Then chapters took place over the summer and were about Anna puzzling out everything about Zoe. The Now chapters took place in September and were about young journalist Martina trying to find out the truth about Zoe, not buying Anna's confession. The Now chapters were fun and held my interest completely, but the Then chapters seemed to be lacking something. I'm not quite sure what, but they were definitely missing something.
The pacing seemed a little erratic. Sometimes I would be glued to the page, and others I wouldn't be interested at all. There were pages on pages of Anna doing normal stuff, taking care of Paisly, and so on, and it would just be so. Boring. And then we'd have some super interesting chapters that would cut off for a Now segment, and when we got back to Then things would be mundane again.
The writing for I Killed Zoe Spanos was really good for the most part, but it deteriorated a little bit in the Now chapters. The Then chapters were told in first person present tense from Anna's point of view. The Now chapters were told in third person present tense, which is an instant turn off for me. Then once the Then chapters caught up to the beginning of the Now chapters, we just moved right on into October chapters. These were told in first person present tense again and switched perspectives between Anna, Martina, and Aster. I wish we were told when the POV shifted because I'd be reading an Anna chapter and think it was an Aster chapter or something, and I'd just get so confused.
Like in any good thriller, one of the most important parts is the twists and turns. The twists in this one surprised me but weren't the edge-of-your-seat-and-gasping kind that you hope for. I didn't guess them, but they weren't shocking. It might just be because I felt as if I was just coasting through this book, not really invested in the characters or story, so maybe I just didn't care. I don't know. I was just a little underwhelmed.
All in all, I had a fun time with this book but I doubt I'd be picking it up again. I just wasn't immersed and the story and I didn't care about the characters. Again, this could be all my fault, but it just wasn't as good as I was hoping.
Content and trigger warnings: Alcohol, arson, (past) drugs, death, and hallucinations.