Published: October 2, 2018
Genres: YA Fiction, mystery, contemporary
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Seventeen-year-old Seelie Stanton never wanted to kill someone. She never wanted to be invisible in her own family, never wanted to crush on her best friend Alyssa, and she definitely never wanted to know how effectively a mallet could destroy someone’s head.
But the universe doesn’t care what she wants. Shane Mayfield doesn’t care what Seelie wants either. When the former high school basketball star attacks her, she has no choice but to defend herself. She saved her own life, but she can’t bring herself to talk about what happened that night. Not all of it. Not even when she’s arrested for murder.
I received an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
** This book may be triggering for some people, there are a lot of violence triggers associated with this book. If you are going to read it, please be aware of this.
**Most of my reviews are spoiler free, in this review, I will be talking about a scene that bothered me a little bit which is a bit of a spoiler, but it a scene that you can deduct will happen from reading the synopsis of the book.
Overall, I found this book well-written and gripping, I read the whole thing in a day and a half. Seelie tells her story in pieces over the course of the book in a heartwrenching, deeply traumatic way. Sadly, parts of her story are shared by too many people.
Seelie’s group of friends are interesting, and well-formed each with their own personalities and drives. They all have a moment in the book where they show who they are and aren’t simply supporting figures in Seelie’s story but it’s clear that they all have their own story to tell even if it’s not one that fits into the narrative being shared in this book. I would have like a little more development between Seelie and her mom because I feel like there was more there to hash out, but I truly think that’s the editor part of my brain not shutting off as I read.
The plot was intense. Seelie’s attack and her trip through the justice system made for a fast-paced, incredibly interesting read. There were parts that didn’t quite ring true, pars that felt like they weren’t in the right order, but I can ignore that for the overall story. I think this book is one that people should pick up. It’s well-written and interesting.
** This is the part with the spoilers
There were a couple parts that pulled me out of the book. One was at Seelie’s arraignment hearing, the judge says it’s the case of the “State of Massachuttes versus Cecilia Stanton.” When I first read that I was like “oh, the author must not be from Massachuttes,” but she is. Massachuttes is a Commonwealth. A court case would be the Commonwealth of Massachuttes versus Cecilia Staton. I did have an ARC, so I’m hoping someone caught that before the final publication but it really bothered me. Also, there are several characters that say Seelie should get the death penalty, which Massachuttes hasn’t used since the 80s, and the only person placed on death row in MA in the last 30 years was the marathon bomber who was tried in a federal court. I’m fairly certain that Mass doesn’t have a death penalty statute. New Hampshire, where I live does, but I don’t think Mass does.
The trial portion of the book felt rushed. The prosecution called very few witnesses, like comically few. The attorney asked the arresting officer question about autopsy reports, which should have been asked to a medical examiner. This part didn’t feel researched enough to me.
** End of Spoilers
It just felt like this part of the book wasn’t as researched as it could have been or should have been, which is the main reason this book got 3.5 stars instead of 5.
I do think this is a good book, I think it’s a powerful book. It’s flawed, but all books are. I think there’s a good message and story worth telling in these pages.
Keep in mind the trigger warnings when looking into this book, but I think it’s worth a read.
Until next time, Internet,