Release Date: March 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Kate Lowry didn't think dead best friends could send e-mails. But when she gets an e-mail from Grace, she’s not so sure.
Sent: Sun 9/14 11:59 PM
Subject: (no subject)
I shouldn't be writing.
They'll hurt you.
Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace’s death was more than just a tragic accident. But secrets haunt the halls of her elite private school. Secrets people will do anything to protect. Even if it means getting rid of the girl trying to solve a murder...
Coming to you from the secret hidden bunker
Yeah, you read that right. And if I'm in hiding, then you know what that means, right? I didn't like a book that everyone else adores. I really wanted to like this book but unfortunately every area fell flat for me.
Kate's not getting an invitation from me
Kate may have gotten a secret invitation, but it so wasn't from me. She is so NOT invited to my sleepover party. First off, she'd totally bring down the mood with her sarcastic depression laced with faux apathy. I get it, her best friend died. I'm sure I'd be broken up about that too. But depressing MCs are depressing to be around and Kate just dragged me down.
Kate also has a huge wall around her and, despite the first person narration, I had a really hard time getting in touch with the real Kate.
But, even if I was feeling charitable, I still wouldn't invite her because she's a mean girl. Seth (her dorky neighbor who has a huge crush on her) is a nice guy and Kate treats him terribly. I get how awkward and uncomfortable it can be to have a guy like you when you are so not interested in him AT ALL, but that's not an acceptable excuse for using him like Kate did.
She totally played on his feelings for her because she needed him, all the while lobbing rude comments at him and thinking even meaner thoughts about him. That's just not cool.
It's a mystery
I kept reading because of the mystery, but that fell flat for me too. I never really felt grabbed with that I'm so into this book feeling. The mystery sort of washed over me and I was interested, but I wasn't invested.
Clues are revealed at an ok-ish pace and there is never really any lull in action, but I didn't feel any heart-pounding peaks either. I think I was supposed to feel a real sense of white-knuckled peril here, but instead I just feel kind of meh.
I did like learning about all of the traditions and history of the school. I love this kind of thing, and the details of the societies were fascinating. I want to know more about them though. Meaning, I want to know about other traditions and pieces of history that are hinted at, but I also wish the ones that were revealed were fleshed out more.
The final reveal was kind of a letdown for me. It's not even really fully resolved either, which is even more of a letdown. I thought this was a standalone book, but it's not. I like that this means there will be more to learn about the societies, but I'm not sure if I want to read another book with Kate. I already don't remember any of the details and I'm not too keen on the idea of a re-read.
Misleading beginnings and uncertain endings
I can't tell you much without giving things away, but the blurb is kind of misleading. At least it was for me. I was expecting a certain genre of story ghosts based on that blurb but that's not what I got.
At this point I'm not sure I'd read another book in the series. I would read another book written by the Roecker sisters, but...eh, I really didn't like Kate and the mystery isn't enough to get me to look past her.
Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key