Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Half In Love With Death by Emily Ross

Jess Galvin has gone missing, another teenage girl who has disappeared.  Some say she ran away while others think something much more sinister has occurred.  Her sister, Carolina, just a year younger and who shares a room with Jess, was the last to see her.  Jess said she was sneaking out for a while and for Caroline to cover for her.  By the time Caroline gets worried the next day and tells her parents, hours have gone by since Jess left.  There is no sign of her.

The family attempts to go on.  The girls' father makes a trip to California since Jess talked about going there to become a movie star.  Caroline and her brother go back to school where no one is sure how to act around them.  Her mother cleans incessantly and tries to convince the world all is fine.

The biggest secret Caroline kept for Jess was Jess's relationship with Tony.  Tony is the local bad boy, handsome and charming but the word is he's not to be trusted.  After Jess disappears, Tony starts to hang around with Caroline.  She knows her parents wouldn't approve but who else but she and Tony are willing to look for Jess?  They have the best chance of getting other teenagers to talk.  But soon the secrets that surround Tony start to scare Caroline.  When she is away from him, the discrepancies and rumors about him worry and scare her.  But whenever she is with him, he quickly wins her back to his side with his charisma.  Can the two find Jess or are the rumors about Tony more than gossip?

Emily Ross writes this novel in first person and the reader is transported inside the mind of a typical teenage girl.  There are school rivalries and posturing for popularity.  There are tentative first steps at romance with whatever guy seems interested.  Anyone who has been a teenager will recognize the thought processes of Caroline and how her naivete is easily used to manipulate her.  The teenager disdain of the adults around them and the surety that they are feeling emotions that no one has felt before and that no adult can understand is captured successfully.  This book is recommended for mystery readers and readers interested in family relationships.

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