Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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Sawyer Dodd has it all. She's a star track athlete, choir soloist, and A-student. And her boyfriend is the handsome all-star Kevin Anderson. But behind the medals, prom pictures, and perfect smiles, Sawyer finds herself trapped in a controlling, abusive relationship with Kevin. When he dies in a drunk-driving accident, Sawyer is secretly relieved. She's free. Until she opens her locker and finds a mysterious letter signed by "an admirer" and printed with two simple words: "You're welcome."With it's blend of mystery and suspense, Truly, Madly, Deadly is a new YA contribution that is a definite read for fans of the genre.
What I Liked...
The mystery and suspense that Ms. Jayne creates is perfect. There was a definitively creepy feel to the entire story and I felt like it really pulled me into what was going on in Sawyer's life. The story starts off with an emotional entry into Sawyer's life with her boyfriend's funeral. From the start, her grief over his death conflicts with another feeling that she experiences--relief. It's this start that really drew me into the book to begin with.
The mystery actually kept me guessing. I had a few inklings along the way about who I thought might be doing these things to/for Sawyer, but Ms. Jayne threw in just enough twists to keep me guessing.
What I Liked Less...
I actually had some trouble connecting with Sawyer as a character. Her actions, especially the way that she dealt with her stepmom and impending baby, as well as how she handled the stalking simply didn't always sit well with me. I understood her actions to be those of a somewhat frightened teenager, but I still felt like in the same situation I would have confided in an adult--maybe not at the very first note but definitely by the second one.
When the killer was finally revealed, I also felt like I was at a loss to truly understand the motivations behind the actions. It just felt like a bit unresolved when it came down to it.
This book has a lot of good things going for it. While I think that it could have been even creepier, the mystery is just dark enough to draw in readers who like that kind of mystery. It also will appeal to some more reluctant readers as it is not all that long. (Possibly that is what I needed--a slightly longer story?) It definitely has the darker tone that my students like reading and I think that it definitely has some potential in my school library.