by Alexandra Monir
To be published
on November 18, 2016
Source: eARC for review
Synopsis from Goodreads: Nicole Morgan has been labeled many things — the geeky music girl, the shy sidekick to Miss Popularity, and the girl with the scar. Now only one name haunts her through the halls of Oyster Bay Prep. The Girl in the Picture. After high school heartthrob Chace Porter is found dead in the woods near the school, the police are in search of the girl whose picture with Chace is the only clue found amongst his personal belongings. A girl who no one knew was even close to Chace–and whose dormmate, Lana Rivera, was Chace's girlfriend. Nicole is that girl and now she's the primary suspect in his murder. But what really happened that night? Were Nicole and Chace dating behind Lana’s back; were he and Lana over? Could either of them have killed him?
My take: I went into this YA mystery with moderate expectations, but enjoyed it more than I thought.
The story opens with the discovery of a murder victim, a high school student, and then flashes back to show the circumstances leading up to his death. He's a congressman's son, a new student at an exclusive Long Island Prep School. He's immediately glommed onto by Lana, the daughter of a congresswoman. But he's also drawn to Nicole, who's socially awkward and a talented musician.
The story is told by both girls in flashback (with occasional asides from the dead guy.) This kind of technique has bothered me in other books, but it worked for me here. The two girls were different enough (Lana brash and confident, Nicole more shy and introspective) that I could easily keep everything straight.
Overall I thought the mystery was handled pretty well - the clues were carefully laid out, and the suspect someone that the reader could guess. But I still found the ending kind of unbelievable. [highlight for spoiler]So, Chase was a brand new student at the school, but the killer already got him/herself accepted there and was lying in wait, ready to seek revenge? And had already befriended the person he/she planned to frame for the crime? I think this person should forget revenge and apply to Harvard or Stanford, because making all that work out means this person is someone who can make things happen![end spoiler]
But besides that complaint, I did enjoy The Girl in the Picture. It was fun and kept me reading and I didn't even mind the ghost narrator...