Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Review: Nearly Gone

NEARLY GONE
Elle Cosimano
Young Adult/Mystery
388 pages
Kathy Dawson Books (Penguin)
Available Now
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother's job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone's skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn't figure it all out soon—she'll be next.


MY THOUGHTS
Nearly Gone is a story that acts as a beautiful reminder of everything we love about reading, sucking us in with a well-executed murder mystery and just a touch of romance; the combination of the two allowing for a couple of late nights as we race against the clock to find out the who and why of it all. The mystery itself is just complicated enough to ensure our minds are working overtime to solve the myriad of literal puzzles the murderer leaves behind for Nearly, but not so convoluted as to create distance between us and the story. We do figure one or two things out with regard to the numbers well before Nearly does, but many times those who are closest to something are the ones who can’t see as clearly, so her inability to make certain connections isn't overly bothersome. The killer and his or her reasons remain intriguingly hidden from us throughout though, a good size suspect pool keeping us on our toes and guessing until the final showdown.

Nearly is a strong heroine–not a horror movie cliche who does the exact opposite of what is smart and logical and therefore unsurprisingly finds herself in a place she shouldn’t be–and we can’t help but be pleased with the way she handles things. When she first discovers the link between the personal ads and the attacks on her fellow students, instead of deciding to solve the case on her own, she runs immediately to the police and tells them everything she knows. It’s only when she’s basically laughed out of the police station and added to the top of the suspect list that she starts trying to decipher the riddles herself, something we really can’t blame her for doing. There are of course a multitude of moments when things begin to escalate that she undoubtedly should have gone to the police yet again, but it’s easy to suspend disbelief a touch because we find ourselves as desperate for answers as Nearly is.

In addition to the mysterious deaths of her classmates, we’re also treated to a slow burning romance between Nearly and new student/undercover agent Reece. Nearly is aware of exactly who and what Reece is from the beginning, removing some of the tension and worry that comes from knowing a hurtful secret our protagonist doesn’t, and it's because she knows of Reece’s involvement with the police that she’s extra wary of him. Though she understandably keeps this knowledge to herself for a while, she’s not the type of character who withholds information from him throughout, eventually opening up to him fully and allowing him to help her rather than causing a series of miscommunications by deliberate omission. She handles the relationship between them perfectly, trusting in moderation as their initial friendship begins to progress into something more, and blissfully holding off on declarations of love until she’s had the time to get to know all facets of him rather than just the ones he wants her to see.

The romance, while present, takes a definitive backseat to the mystery, allowing the connection between the numbers and Nearly’s life the majority of the time in the spotlight. As a result, we flip the pages with increasing speed, frantic to reach the end where all our answers await. When we do reach the final chapters, we find the various threads woven together beautifully, all our lingering questions addressed and our hearts warm with satisfaction on both the romantic and murder mystery fronts. A hugely enjoyable read, Nearly Gone shouldn’t be missed.

Rating: 4/5
 

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This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

35 comments:

  1. Ok...do not go and do something else while in the middle of reading a review, lol, I forgot what I was supposed to write

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  2. I'm loving the trend of books involving murder mysteries and can't wait to read this one. Plus it's got a smart heroine - who actually goes to the cops before trying to become Nancy Drew - and a slow burn romance!

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    1. Yes! I could have hugged her when she went straight to the police station:)

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  3. I've been curious about this one though hadn't heard anything about it until your review. It seems to be an extremely promising and intriguing novel, though, so onto the TBR it goes! Wonderful review, Jenny!(:

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    1. I hope you give it a try Keertana, I thought it was well done:)

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  4. Well, I was quite curious about this one, but I hadn't heard any reviews from it. Now that you tell me that this is a murder mystery first and that the heroine is smart and sensible and the romance is quite minimum... now I am quite intrigued about this one!
    Thanks for a great review!

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    1. Yay! I thoroughly enjoyed Nearly and thought the mix of romance and mystery was perfect.

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  5. I don't read a lot of mysteries, and I ESPECIALLY don't read a lot of YA mysteries, but Nearly (such a good name) sounds like the type of MC that could make a YA mystery good for me. I hate YA MCs who run around like chickens with their heads cut off, and your description of her as smart and logical makes her the polar opposite of that. And making her aware of the undercover status of Reece IS a really clever way of dealing with the potentially hurtful Big Secret. I like it ;) Great review!

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    1. I loved Nearly. Should she have probably gone to the cops again when more bodies started piling up? Yep. But she was their #1 suspect so I can't really blame her for her hesitancy. And she went to them in the first place and they didn't believe her O.o

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  6. The kid's name is Nearly? WHY?? Is there some crazy backstory with her where she nearly wasn't born, nearly didn't survive or something? Or did her parents just like adverbs? The mystery in this sounds really good, though. I like that the MC is a smart chick who uses her head.

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    1. It was definitely something along those lines - I can't remember what exactly. Maybe she nearly died when she was born? She was very smart though and I liked how everything played out:)

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  7. This sounds really good, Jenny. I had no idea it was a mystery. I was under the impression it had ghosts or something paranormal just by looking at the cover. I'm glad to hear that the mystery kept you guessing for a long time. I need to get a copy of the book. Also, Nearly does sound glad and I'm glad she actually went to the police first. I also like the sound of the romance and yay for honesty!
    Lovely review, Jenny.

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    1. *Nearly does sound smart

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    2. No ghosts Nick! And I just had fun reading this one, it kept me entertained beginning to end. I did figure out pieces of the mystery, but I never did guess the who:)

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  8. Ha. I think I have to second Mary's WTF at the name. Despite that, though, this sounds like a dark mystery, and I *like* that.

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    1. I was a big fan of this one Amanda!

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  9. Ooo Jenny I love the sound of the mystery and adore that the romance takes a backseat. Yes, I think I need to read this one it sounds like it has more depth then typical YA mysteries or at least ones I have tried.

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  10. See, this a thriller and mystery that I could support. Bonus points for the heroine with an actual brain! Although I pity her for being named Nearly. Is that a nickname? I'll be sure to check this one out since I love reading mysteries.

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    1. Not a nickname:) I loved that she was smart. She did end up trying to figure things out on her own (with Reece), but huge bonus points for going to the police first. And technically Reece is the police, so she worked with them all along ;-)

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  11. I love that this is a good mystery, we really need more of them in YA. I had high hopes for this one so yay that you liked it!!

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    1. I loved it Ali! It was just good murder mystery/thriller fun:)

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  12. Nearly is a strange name. But it sounds similar enough to common names that it doesn't seem as odd as it is. Kinda cool. Glad she's a smart heroine. I think most authors have learned to steer clear of the TSTL type.

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  13. I got this in a box of ARC's last year and somehow I forgot about it. I usually keep them in a pile by month of release so I guess I missed putting this one on the pile. It sounds like a must read to me though. I have really been digging the mysteries and it's okay by me if the romance takes a back seat!

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  14. SO need to get this one! This sounds fab! LOVE that she is strong AND smart! You are so right about those horror flick girls. UGH! I hate that. :) I do love thrillers and you don't get them often in YA. Oh so curious!!!

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  15. This one was the most popular book in last Friday's Friday Forecast. I love a well executed mystery and I like the sound of Nearly, I am going to have to read this one.

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  16. When book combines those two elements I don't think I can resist. I love nice touch of romance and mysterious story. Especially with such interesting characters. Great review, Jenny :)

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  17. Great review! I love the name Reece. I would totally go to the police first--sucks she was laughed out of there.

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  18. Oh this sounds awesome, Jenny! I love mysteries and it sounds like this one involves the reader just enough to make us feel involved without giving everything away. Add in a swoony undercover cop and I'm so there! Wonderful review! :)

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  19. This one did not grab my attention at all, but of course NOW that you've reviewed it, it sounds so great!! I really want to read it!!! Interesting talent Nearly has. And name. Great review!!

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  20. So that sounds great! I was not sure if I would read it or not, but your words convinced me. Especially the end. I hate it when too many questions are unanswered! Totally going to get this book back to my TBR pile.

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  21. Sold! I saw exotic dancer and serial killer mentioned in the blurb a started hoping you'd give a positive review. Mystery that keeps you guessing, strong heroine ... yup, I need it.

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  22. I haven't read a murder mystery in forever, and I think I've found one to finally read! This book looks really promising, and the main character sounds smart as she does what one normally should do rather than the typical horror movie or mystery girl does, even if it doesn't work out. Hopefully I can find the time (and funds) to read this book soon!

    Victoria @ Chapters on a Page

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  23. How come I did not see this in my feed? I haven't read a good murder mystery in a while. This looks good. Thanks you for sharing!

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  24. Thrillers are so big these days! I like that this girl goes to the police first! So many of these types of books include high school characters doing things you couldn't imagine actually taking place. Also, I like a slow burn romance with an undercover agent! And it doesn't bother me that the mystery takes precedent. This is another one that I didn't pay much attention to, but you've peaked my interest!

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