I am not usually a fan of YA, but I was interested when I read this description and then saw it was a giveaway on Goodreads. I don't usually win those, but I had a good year and won this book also. I have enjoyed James Patterson in the past, so I figured his YA would be pretty good. This book is a collaboration between Patterson and Maxine Paetro. I have not read any of her stuff nor have I read the Women's Murder Club series by them, so I was curious to see what this book was all about.
There were quite a few technical issues with the book that I wasn't a fan of, but I will get to those in a minute. Let me start with what I liked about this. I really liked the story, and it held my attention. Sad to say I had the whole thing figured out about 8 chapters in, but I couldn't stop reading this because I wanted to know if I was right or not. The idea of a murder committed in a locked room with no way in or out was really interesting. This of course points the finger at every family member because they had access. I also liked the characters in this book. That is, when they weren't being overly dramatic. I chalked that up to them being teenagers and sort of let that slide. I was also happy that there wasn't this long drawn out romantic sub plot or love triangle in this book. Patterson and Paetro stayed away from that cliche in this YA book, and I couldn't be happier. The teen romance/love triangle sub plot is what usually keeps me from reading YA.
Here is what I wasn't a fan of: I didn't care for how overly dramatic the descriptions of everything were. I had to ask my wife who reads a good bit of YA if this was normal, and she said no. She read this too and didn't care for it as much as I did. I looked past these technical issues and just enjoyed the story. Everything that was described was so tragic or intense that it felt like the efforts of a new writer. It had a ton of useless descriptors that would normally have been edited out if this was adult fiction. The whole book felt like Patterson and Paetro were trying too hard to make this a YA novel. I can't say this is due to poor writing because Patterson has written some books that I loved.
Once you get past the technicalities, the story is very well done. I am really curious to see what is going to happen with our main character Tandy. This is a series, and book 2 is already out. I will be putting my name on the list for it at my library and hope this answers some questions left unanswered in this book. Because I liked the characters and the story I gave this 4 out of 5 stars. I hope the series continues to get better and they aren't as over dramatic in the future books.