2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 265 books.
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Book Review: Nine Liars by Maureen Johnson

About the Book

Senior year at Ellingham Academy for Stevie Bell isn’t going well. Her boyfriend, David, is studying in London. Her friends are obsessed with college applications. With the cold case of the century solved, Stevie is adrift. There is nothing to distract her from the questions pinging around her brain—questions about college, love, and life in general.

Relief comes when David invites Stevie and her friends to join him for study abroad, and his new friend Izzy introduces her to a double-murder cold case. In 1995, nine friends from Cambridge University went to a country house and played a drunken game of hide-and-seek. Two were found in the woodshed the next day, murdered with an ax.

The case was assumed to be a burglary gone wrong, but one of the remaining seven saw something she can’t explain. This was no break-in. Someone’s lying about what happened in the woodshed.

Seven suspects. Two murders. One killer still playing a deadly game.

My Review

I really love this series. Johnson has done a fabulous job blending YA snark, cold case investigation, and contemporary murder into a seamless whole that engages the reader on so many levels. I love Stevie in all her angst-riddled quirkiness, and her compatriots are every bit as engaging and entertaining in their wholly unique ways. I like that the group of them are so different yet so perfectly matched together as a set, complementing each others’ personalities and skill sets as they engage with murder investigations AND the realities of their inexorable slog into adulthood. I really enjoyed the continuing development of the relationships established in the first book in the series, and it was a fun compare-contrast to juxtapose her friendships with the Nine in this one.

And holy cow for the cliffhanger ending! I generally don’t approve of the massive cliffhanger, as it often feels like a blatant ploy to get you to buy the next book. But this one was handled well, more like a season finale than a literal hanging off the cliff by your fingertips. Here’s hoping the next installment comes soon because I have to see where this goes…

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.

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