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Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Casey's YA Mysteries Just As Compelling As Her Adult Books

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Most people would be ecstatic about spending their summer holiday at the seashore.  Not 16-year-old Jess Tennant.  She doesn't have anything against the beach, it's just the odd circumstances under which she's being taken there.  Her mother—who has always been tight-lipped about her past—has suddenly decided to whisk Jess away from London to tiny Port Sentinel, the seaside town where she was reared.  They'll be staying for months with an aunt and cousins Jess has never met.  Talk about awkward.

Even more awkward is the reaction Jess receives while walking around town.  People gawp at her like they're seeing a ghost.  Which they are, kind of.  Turns out, Jess bears a remarkable resemblance to her cousin Freya, who recently died in a fall off a steep cliff.  The death has been ruled a suicide, but not everyone is convinced.  The more Jess learns about her late cousin, the more she suspects Freya didn't die by choice.  Jess wants answers, but her questions only provoke stern warnings and unsettling threats.  What really happened to Freya Leonard?  Jess is determined to find out.

I'm a big fan of Irish crime writer Jane Casey's adult novels, so I was eager to give her YA series a go.  I ended up liking it quite a bit, even more than her other books in some ways.  How to Fall, the first installment in the trilogy, introduces the intrepid Jess Tennant.  Our heroine is tenacious, brave, and independent.  With a funny, self-deprecating voice, she's easy to both like and admire.  There's plenty going on in How to Fall to keep readers engaged.  In fact, it's a fast, exciting page turner that can easily be read in one sitting.  The story takes some dark turns and the teen characters often act a lot older than they're supposed to be, but overall, I enjoyed How to Fall.  It took less than a chapter to convince me to put the next two books in the series on hold at my library.  I've already devoured them because, well, they're just that compelling.  Enough said.

(Readalikes:  the other two books in the trilogy, Bet Your Life and Hide and Seek)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs), violence, sexual innuendo, and depictions of underage drinking

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find


  1. I typically prefer fantasy, but this book sounds incredible! Thanks for the review!

    1. I don't know about incredible, but it's definitely good :) I didn't even realize Jane Casey wrote YA until very recently. Her books don't seem to be that well known in the U.S.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    2. I read–and enjoy!– your reviews. I think this is the first time I commented, though. ;)

  2. Ok. Seriously. Stop. My tbr stack can't take anymore! ;)

  3. I'm liking the sound of this one! Must add it to my list. :D

  4. This is an unfamiliar author to me. I'm always looking for good YA mysteries. Thanks!


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