Source: Received a copy from Edelweiss and Soho Teen in exchange for an honest review, no compensation. Thank you to Edelweiss and Soho Teen!
Purchase: Barnes and Noble/ Amazon
Everything has been downhill since Zoey Trask’s mother was murdered in a random mugging. Her younger brother, Ben, is on the autistic spectrum and needs constant supervision. It’s senior year, and she’s the new girl at a weird private school in Old Town Alexandria, VA, full of kids who seem too nice to be true—including a very cute boy named Pete. Aside from half-forgotten martial arts and survivalist skills that her widowed father insisted on teaching her (because that is excellent for her social life), Zoey has nothing to offer Pete or anyone else.
Then Dad is kidnapped. Zoey suddenly finds herself sole caretaker of a younger brother she barely understands. Worse, Ben seems to hold the key to their father’s disappearance in his Dream Diary, a bizarre journal of names and places Ben claims that their mother shares from beyond the grave. And as if Zoey doesn’t have enough on her plate, there’s Pete, who stubbornly refuses to leave her side.
Relying on the skills she never wanted to learn—Dad might have had his reasons after all—Zoey is plunged into a lethal battle to rescue her father, protect her brother, and determine the identity of her family’s true enemy.
I am not going to lie, I totally picked this book by it’s cover. I was also very intrigued by the synopsis and it ended up being an ok story. Contemporary is not my usual YA sub genre but I always end up liking anything with a mystery component. Only a couple of chapters into the book Zoey’s dad is kidnapped. She spends the rest of the book trying to find and save her dad. She also meets a boy along the way, Pete, who helps her to find him. The love story is minimal but it is there. The story is a bit far fetched and over the top but I really enjoyed Zoey’s character. She is lovable and quirky! I also enjoyed the way that she tries to take care of her brother Ben. She sort of fails miserably but it ends up ok in the end. Another dislike I had was the use of flashbacks. I would be deep in the suspense of the story and then bam, a flashback. I understood that she was trying to provide emotional connection to the characters but the momentum of the story was often lost. Momentum and flow are huge in a suspenseful mystery. I would definitely read the next in the series (if there is one) and would recommend this book to contemporary YA lovers!