by Josin L. McQuein
To be published by Delacorte BFYR
on October 8, 2013
Source: requested for review from the publisher. Thank you, Delacorte, for sending me an ARC!
Connect with the author: blog | Twitter | Facebook.
Summary of the book from Goodreads: A week ago, Dinah’s cousin Claire cut her wrists. Five days ago, Dinah found Claire’s diary and discovered why. Three days ago, Dinah stopped crying and came up with a plan. Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair. Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator’s camouflage. Today, she’ll find the boy who broke Claire. By tomorrow, he’ll wish he were dead.
My take: I've been dying to read Premeditated ever since I heard about it in a publisher's preview nearly a year ago. Premeditated combines so many things I enjoy in a book: a revenge story, a going undercover story, a story about family relationships, and a story about preconceptions and prejudice. While there were a few suspension of disbelief moments (highlight for spoiler) A teenager with not a single picture of him/herself online? What????? That was a major tip-off for me. (end spoiler) and though some of those moments did help me guess the ending, that did not spoil my enjoyment of the book one bit!
As the story begins, Dinah is pulling up to the Eleanor Lowry school, ready to enroll as a new student. She's actually taking her cousin Claire's spot after Claire was admitted to the hospital. Dinah's not at Lowry to make new friends or improve her Latin -- she's a huntress on the prowl, out to find and punish the boy who caused Claire to attempt suicide.
"We're going to end up on one of those 'ripped from the headlines' shows, aren't we?"That sounds like a pretty dark plot, and Premeditated does have some dark themes, but I was pleasantly surprised that the book also had a fair amount of quirk and humor. I have to give the author credit for this. It's actually pretty hard to combine serious stuff with humor, but Premeditated did it well. At one point the book makes a Heathers reference. If, like me, you're a big fan of that darkly comic 1990s movie, you'll love Premeditated.
Dinah sets out on her revenge mission, but pretty soon I thought I had figured out the ending. I was right. The book offered up so many clues in this regard that I had to wonder if it was intentional. It was still fun for me to watch Dinah, knowing what I thought I knew.
"English, Brucie. I don't speak Star Wars."Another strength of Premeditated was the cast of characters. Dinah was a great heroine. She's a former pageant contestant (I would have loved to hear more about that!) and she's tough and snarky, but also incredibly devoted to her cousin. She's aided on her revenge mission by her friends, computer geek Brucie and badass Tabs, and some of their exchanges are hilarious. Dinah's Uncle Paul is another stand-out character, as well as Chandi, a fellow student at Lowry.
I definitely recommend Premeditated. It's a story with plenty of drama and suspense but also a lot of humor and heart.