Thursday, December 23, 2021

Review: The Dead List by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Publication Date: April 2015

It's Ella's senior year of high school and she and her best friend Linds plan to make it the best year ever. At Brock Cochran's end of summer pool party, the girls vow to have as much fun as possible before they head off to different colleges next fall. But when Ella is mysteriously attacked on her way home from the party, everything changes. Ella's carefree senior year plans disintegrate as she finds herself at the center of an attempted murder investigation.

Ella tries to move on, but her attacker isn't done yet. He shows himself in the form of horrifying signs and symbols: a clown mask strewn on her bed, a dead bird in her backpack, a shadow moving past her window in the night. And as the weeks pass, it turns out that Ella isn't the only one being tormented.

With the help of an old flame, Jensen Carver, and her friends and family, Ella tries to attain some sense of normalcy, but she can't seem to shake the feeling that there's a dark pattern hidden in the killer's every move. Suddenly, even those in her innermost circle seem suspicious. In her seemingly safe West Virginia town, Ella starts to wonder who she can trust.

Somehow, I missed The Dead List when it came out a few years ago.  After reading a few underwhelming YA mysteries this year, I did not hold out hope that I would like this one.  I am pleased to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book.  Ella is attacked one night while elating a party. While she tries to move on from the attack, someone won't let her forget it. And now her friends are targets.

I really enjoyed this one.  I immediately liked Ella.  She as smart and didn't take stupid chances.  I loved that she actually told her mother when she thought someone had been in the house and didn't dismiss it.  I always see that in movies and it drives me nuts.  In fact, I liked that parents were present in this book.  The mystery was intriguing.  I didn't call the twists.  I liked the slasher like elements.

I also enjoyed the romance.  It wasn't annoying and they actually communicated with each other. Even before they had sex for the first time. Because of that scene, this should be kept to the older YA reader.   I really  thought the author handled that entire scenario very well and thoughtfully.     I also appreciated that there was a lack of love triangle. That is all I'm going to say.  I don't want to spoil anything.  I highly recommend this one if you are looking for a good YA mystery that keeps you guessing.  

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