Thanks to NetGalley and Jimmy Patterson for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: June 23rd, 2020
Synopsis: Flora Calhoun has a reputation for sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. After stumbling across a classmate’s body years ago, the trauma of that discovery and the police’s failure to find the killer has haunted her ever since. One night she gets a midnight text from Ava McQueen, the beautiful girl who had ignited Flora’s heart last summer, then never spoke to her again.
Just in time to witness Ava’s death from a gunshot wound, Flora is set on a path of rage and vengeance for all the dead girls whose killer is never found. Her tunnel-visioned sleuthing leads to valuable clues about a shocking conspiracy involving her school and beyond, but earns her sinister threats from the murderer. She has a choice—to give up the hunt for answers, or keep digging and risk her loved ones’ lives. Either way, Flora will regret the consequences. Who’s next on the killer’s list?
If you pick up You’re Next, be prepared to leave a healthy dose of scepticism at the door. It’s a combination of Veronica Mars, Nancy Drew and Riverdale, and while it’s a little rough at times, overall it’s a fun read.
The beginning is a little awkward because of the previous murder. The way it’s written kind of leaves the impression that there was another book, but there’s not. At the same time though, it gives you more insight into Flora’s troubled mind. She’s never gotten over that trauma and the combination of that, this new murder of her ex-girlfriend, and her tumultuous relationship with her absentee mother makes her careen out of control. I loved her relationship with her grandfather who has become parent to both Flora and her younger sister Olive, but I was also frustrated at times because I felt he gave her far too much latitude in regards to her detective work. I also found it unbelievable that psychological counseling was never even considered.
I loved Flora’s relationship with the enigmatic Valentine and found myself rooting for these two emotionally scarred human beings. While their romance is rocky in the beginning due to miscommunication and lack of trust, it slowly evolves during the story into something more meaningful.
The two other characters I loved the most were Olive and Flora’s best friend, Cass. They’re both supportive yet unafraid to call Flora out when she says or does something unacceptable. While she tends to take them for granted, toward the end of the book she realizes how much she depends upon them.
At almost 500 pages long, this probably could have had about 50-75 pages edited out, but it still manages to move along at a surprisingly fast pace thanks to the almost continuous action. The ending is a whopper and I’m assuming there will be a sequel. If not, I’m taking a point off my rating!
You’re Next is an enjoyable read that I think fans of YA authors like Karen McManus and Jennifer Lynn Barnes will enjoy. It provided a nice distraction from current events and I’ll be on the look out for the next book.