ARC, Book Review, Books

The Amateurs – Sara Shepard

Everyone’s dying to know the truth . . .

When Aerin Kelly was eleven, she idolised her seventeen-year-old sister, Helena, and they did everything together. They made Claymation movies and posted them to YouTube. They made fun of Windmere-Carruthers, the private school they attended, they invented new flavours for their parents’ organic ice cream shop, and they dressed up their golden retriever, Buster. But when Helena went into senior year things started to change. Rather than being Aerin’s inseparable sister, she started to push her away. Then, on a snowy winter’s day, Helena vanished.

Four years later, Helena’s body is found. Wracked with grief and refusing to give up on her sister, Aerin spends months trying to figure out what exactly happened to Helena and who killed her. But the police have no leads. A young, familiar officer named Thomas wants to help and suggests she checks out a website called Case Not Closed. Hesitantly, she posts, and when teenagers Seneca and Maddox show up on her doorstep offering to help investigate she accepts in desperation.

Both have suffered their own losses and also posted to the site with no luck, so they are hoping this case might be the one they crack. But as their investigation begins, it seems that maybe it’s no accident that they are all together and that maybe the crimes have something – or someone – in common.

I would like to thank NetGalley and hot key books for sending me this ARC. As well all know Sara Shepard is known for her mystery books and mostly for her Pretty Little Liars series as well as her Never have I ever series.

She did not disappoint with this book I was turning the page and I did not want to put this book down. This book was good for when I just wanted to relax with a nice and easy read mystery which is what this was. I did not guess the ending I was nowhere near the ending to what happened, Sara Shepard threw in twists and turns and with each one I was getting further and further away from the actual murder. I had no idea how it would end, but oh my god it was brilliant, Sara Shepard really does have a talent.

I sometimes struggled to connect with the characters which were a shame but although I couldn’t connect with them, I did care a little about what happened to them. It’s also interesting to see young people so interested in crime and wanting to solve it and in fact closing cases more than the police.

Aerin was a very interesting character she never stopped looking for her sister’s killer or wanting to know answers, and we see the massive impact that her sister going missing happened on her social life with making out with random boys and doing certain sexual things with different boys.

Seneca had a very personal connection with Aerin and that was the fact both of them had lost someone, and although they had this connection they didn’t really meld well together, they clashed quite a bit but at times in this story, the dynamic really worked. I didn’t like how Seneca lied to her dad about the university thing, she is surely old enough to be able to do what she wants even if she did have to repeat a year of school.

The romance in this book was a bit naff, in fact it was crap, I really didn’t care for it, I didn’t care if these chraracters mainly Seneca and Maddox got together or if they seperated. I just really didn’t care what happened to them, it just seemed so childish and high schooly.

The one thing I don’t think the book did very well in getting closure, they know who the murderer is but they don’t have the answers they want or need because of the ending. So I can’t wait for the next book in the series to see where Sara Shepard takes this book because I can imagine it can go in many directions.

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