by Emily Hainsworth
To be published by Balzer + Bray
on February 16, 2016
Source: eARC for review from publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: Fear grips the residents of Hidden Falls the night Sonia Feldman and her best friend, Gretchen Meyer, are attacked in the woods. Sonia was lucky to escape with her life, but Gretchen’s body is discovered at the bottom of a waterfall. Beautiful, popular, and seemingly untouchable, Gretchen can’t be gone. Even as Sonia struggles with guilt and confusion over having survived, the whole town is looking to her for information … could she have seen something that will lead the police to the killer? At the top of the list of suspects is Gretchen’s ex-boyfriend—and Sonia’s longtime enemy—Marcus Perez. So when Marcus comes to Sonia for help clearing his name, she agrees, hoping to find evidence the police need to prove he’s the killer. But as Gretchen’s many secrets emerge and the suspects add up, Sonia feels less sure of Marcus’s involvement, and more afraid for herself. Could Marcus, the artist, the screwup, the boy she might be falling for have attacked her? Killed her best friend? And if it wasn’t him in the woods that night…who could it have been?My take: At first, I was completely loving Take The Fall. It started off with a cool Veronica Mars kind of vibe -- a girl whose best friend is killed and who feels romantically drawn to one of the suspects (the victim's ex-boyfriend) in her murder. Like Veronica, Sonia decides to figure out who killed her friend.
Sadly, I felt that the Veronica Mars comparison ended there. A well-crafted mystery should lead the reader on a journey in which they are allowed to size up all the possible suspects and are kept constantly guessing as to which one is the guilty party. After the initial set-up, I felt that the plot of Take The Fall just went around and around and around from suspect to suspect again and again -- the victim's boyfriend, sister, frenemy, secret boyfriend -- without really deepening my understanding of the crime, the victim or the suspects.
Then there was the ending. It is an ending some readers may enjoy, but I found it annoying. Click the button for my SPOILER-Y THOUGHTS on the book's resolution.
While this wasn't really the perfect fit for me, I'd recommend Take the Fall to readers who a) love unexpected endings and b)don't require romance in their books - at first it seemed this might have romance, but things didn't end up going that way, and I think that keeping romance out of this was the wisest choice.