I'm not certain I know why I picked up this book and started reading it all of a sudden. (Especially with all the books on my TBR list that I have lined up... but y'know, stuff happens.) It was Amazon Kindle cheap, it sounded cute, I like mysteries... and I might have needed a distraction from another book I'm not quite getting into right now.
Nonetheless, this book was cute, breezy, fast-paced, and despite a slight need for a good beta-read or editing as well as some tweaking on some factors I found a bit unsettling, it was actually an eerily addictive read once I got started on it.
I'm not going to deny that I kind of liked the characters and the interactions of all the friends. I especially loved watching Ellie and Angela's relationship grow close as sisters -- it was rather nice. In fact, I think I really liked Ellie's interactions with just about everyone and I liked that she was a no-nonsense, spunky, stand-up-for-herself type of girl who didn't take crap sitting down. Of course, she had a tendency towards the irrational (pegging Seth as a serial killer type before she'd even officially met him), and when she got mean, she got downright mean, but when she was kickass, she was pretty damn cool.
Even the three J's (what little appearance they made) were delightful to see around. I just wished we got to see more of them cause they seemed adorable... in a sense.
Mainly, Ellie's character has given me faith in the young women of our world because she reacts appropriately to creepy-stalker guys even though he's as gorgeous as he is hot. When the boy breaks into her room to sit and play a video game he doesn't like just to get her attention, thank goodness she thought it disturbing and NOT swoon-worthy like her sister did! She DID NOT fantasize him watching her sleep at night... she locked her windows and became extremely cautious about letting him into the house. She DID NOT swoon over the crazy hot neighbor boy who was, in fact, a little disturbingly unstable and creepy.
I gave her props for not going into instalove territory... though it still doesn't mean the relationship in the latter parts of the book sat well with me. Seth still got off easy on a lot of his actions just because he's good-looking -- actions that probably would not have gone over well if he were, well, NOT good-looking. Then again, Ellie has her own weirdness that seems highly inappropriate, even if not extremely intense up to Seth's level.
She can be pretty manipulative and stalker-ish as well. And might I suggest anger management for the lot of these kids? My goodness, the amount of blood shed that was non-serial killer-related was a bit much. Either that, or I just grew up in a very, very tame community and had a very, very quiet life as a teenager.
While Seth does show a lot of behavior that I think might require some toning down as well as some checking (for instance, I love when Ellie puts him in his place by bluntly telling him that he does not own her and that he needs to quit bossing her around and she actually means it), I also feel like Ellie jumped to conclusions about him way too quickly with the name calling and the serial killer accusations. Then again, he did sneak into her room without her knowledge and he did seem to get too touchy-feely with her when she was obviously uncomfortable with it. So I'm a little more forgiving of her when she gets all rude and in his face about his behavior.
Nonetheless, it was quite apparent that Seth would not be the serial killer. It was more apparent that he was involved in investigating the murders rather than committing them. Something about plot twists and stuff like that... But kudos for the creepy, stalker-ish behavior that made it seem like he could be the most likely suspect.
While I may have enjoyed the reading of this book, the tone of the story didn't quite sit well with me. We essentially have a serial murder occurring, but the story is being told in the flippant tone of a stubborn, rebellious, teenaged, ticking time bomb of angry who could very well be the next victim.
Then again, the entire story and characters unfolded kind of weird for me.
In a nutshell: I seemed to have finished said book rather quickly. O.o