Welcome back to the Friday edition of Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're going....
INTO THE WOODS,
INTO THE WOODS;
Skipping merrily into the woods!
There are wolves about
And time is short;
But here we go
INTO THE WOODS!
Um, sorry about that misguided musical interlude. I was slightly brainwashed from FINALLY getting to watch INTO THE WOODS last night and let me just say that while I respect the actors/actresses and Disney is normally a sure thing, THIS was anything but. #epicfail
Despite that being my final verdict on the movie, the only baring it has on today's book post is simply that the characters do indeed go into the woods. The outcome? Stolen kisses, shared moments, and a murder most unexpected. In other words, a sure fire WIN! Ready to meet and greet my most recent bookish adventure? Ladies and gents, courtesy of Running Press, join me in welcoming today's blog tour guest and book of choice...
About the book...
Cass has a theory: everyone eventually leaves. Her father walked out, her mother is starting a new family, and she almost lost her best friend to cancer.
When Cass transfers to a preppy new private school, her plan is to stay anonymous by hiding her skater girl veneer beneath plaid skirts and knee socks. But when her cute locker neighbor, Cooper, takes an interest in Cass, keeping a safe distance isn't easy. And once Cass lets her guard down, the unthinkable happens: Cooper is mysteriously murdered.
As the investigation unfolds, Cass's close friend, Gav, is suspected as the killer. Determined to find answers, she must go through her list one by one until somebody cracks. However, will uncovering the truth really give Cass what she is looking for?
This is definitely not your typical YA story. Our leading lady is a refreshing release of cold Winter air into the early Spring landscape. Where she could be your model private school girl, scoring A's and praise from all the other elitists, she DOES the first and throws her finger up at the latter. Her crew is not from the neighborhood she now resides in and much prefers surfing a half-pipe to catching up on the latest gossip at the local coffeehouse. Preppy by day (thanks to the uniform) and skater in every hour thereafter, if it wasn't for the great education and reaching her potential, she'd trade it all in for the hallways of her old alma mater. As it is, she's stuck with the highfalutin crowd and plans to fly under the radar til graduation day. Funny how plans can all go to s*** when you least expect it.
Enter one locker neighbor by the name of Cooper. His official introduction to Cass is a kiss, stolen at a moment opportune for the both of them; in her case, it got her out of detention, in his case, it kept Sister from asking why he was rummaging in her desk. Hello to you too! Talk about a "meet cute" moment! After this meeting, the connection seems to have been made despite the obstacles standing in their way and until the moment of their final parting, it doesn't seem to fizzle. To me, he seemed like an okay guy though doubt is definitely cast on his character at many junctions along the way, but sometimes that's just the way we want to see things, especially when tragedy strikes. Oh buddy, does it strike here. It's both unexpected and hair raising, even more so by the fact that you know the killer is among them.
As the story unfolds, I really appreciated the birds eye view we got of everything transpiring. From relationships to family, every day life to sleuthing, it all felt natural with real results. Even the danger that persued them as their investigation continued kept you biting your nails. Looking back those relationships mentioned, I feel obligated to spotlight two additional ones besides the Cooper and Cass connection. First up, we have Cass and her little brother Henry. He's a special little guy that relates to the world differently than most (rates on the autism scale) but his insight into things is incredible. He can reach right to the heart of the matter with a few chosen words dispelled in a round about fashion and be spot on. A great little guy indeed...and speaking of great guys, can I say a word about Mattie? He may not be the most talkative fellow due to circumstances beyond his control but his connection with Cass is amazing. Just a look, a glance, a gesture communicates so much between these two and though they are both rough and tumble on the outside, they'll melt your heart. Promise.
So, let me draw this to a conclusion for you. This is a Young Adult pick for those readers that love your less-than-typical leading lady, kicking butt and taking numbers all in the name of love, for friends and those that could have been more. There's the usual journey of learning to show others your true self regardless of what they might think. There's young love despite the fact that's it's hidden in more ways than one and by more PEOPLE than two. There's jealousy and reputation. There's rumors heard through the grapevine and the die hard search to cut through all the bull**** in order to get to the TRUTH of the matter not simply for truth's sake but also so the heart can settle. It's a labyrinth of feelings and emotions strewn across a familiar landscape made disconcerting by the mysteries running round like kids on a sugar rush. It all blends together into a story that's much bigger and better than you would ever first guess, and lives up to the buzz that's been building here of late. Though I had my gut feelings about who did what, the story was never transparent to where the journey to reach the certain end felt unnecessary. Definitely an author to watch.
About the author....
Monica Ropal lives in friendly St. Paul, Minnesota with her husband and three children—whom she lovingly refers to as her three-ring circus. In addition to writing and playing ringmaster, Monica also works as a hospice nurse.
ARC for review courtesy of Valerie at Running Press. (THANKS!) For more information on this tour, this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is set to celebrate its BOOK BIRTHDAY this coming Tuesday (04/07/15) via Running Press Teens, a member of the Perseus Books Group, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing. Of course, you can always pre-order it...just to make sure you can call dibs on a copy before they all fly off the shelf. Just sayin'... ^_^
Until next time...happy reading!