Author: Kat Rosenfield
Author's Website: katrosenfield.com/
Publisher: Dutton Books (Penguin)
Released: July 5, 2012
Genre: YA Suspense/Coming-of-Age
Challenge: 2012 DAC, Mystery and Suspense
Becca is finally facing her final summer in Bridgeport before she can escape from this tiny small town. She knows her romance is just about over since she'll be moving on to bigger and better while her boyfriend stays in pokey old Bridgeport, but for one summer, she'll hold on to the illusion. But then a murder occurs and sends the town into bubbling gossip, and Becca finds herself in inner turmoil, as she inexplicably is drawn to questioning what happened. She could never have predicted that events so far removed from her, in a town she has nothing to do with, could so impact her life.The first thing that hits me about this book is the lushness of the writing. It's just so rich, so descriptive, that I felt like I was in the story at every point - not always so pleasant! The dryness of the road, the flecks of dried blood dusting up.... But definitely satisfying.
As for the story, it's brilliantly woven. Becca's story is intercut with chapters of Amelia Anne's story, and though Becca's spans a summer and Amelia Anne's a night, both are stark coming-of-age stories, as both girls face love and loss and reality. I love how neither girl's thoughts are really ever told, how we get to simply feel how she feels. It makes the story that much more powerful.
As for the mystery - wow. It starts out slowly, as if it's really of no concern - a murder happened, but it has nothing to do with the main point of the story - which is how Becca feels. But as the story goes on, and it starts becoming more personal for Becca, the tension builds and builds, until I found myself holding my breath waiting to see what would happen. I guessed - twice - who the murderer was, but the ending took me by surprise nevertheless.
One thing I will say - the epilogue isn't really necessary. The way the last chapter ends is poignant and says everything that has to be said. I felt like the epilogue tried to wrap things up and didn't trust the reader to make the connections.
I think this book really crosses genres, and will appeal to readers of contemporary YA and mystery alike.