With Malice by Eileen Cook
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Total Pages: 316
It was the perfect trip…until it wasn’t.
Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.
As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who she can trust and what she’s capable of, Jill desperately tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.
This book was about as suspenseful and entertaining as watching paint dry (and I’m not talking about fun colored paint or paint that changes colors as it dries…just like plain white paint). It also moved at the pace of a snail. To be perfectly honest, there were two reasons that I finished this book, otherwise I probably would have just DNFed it. Those are:
- My Mom was also reading this book and I wanted to be able to talk to her about it
- I wanted to know what actually happened in Italy
Sad to report that I should not have wasted my time. My Moms feelings on the book were the same as my own, therefore we had no fun or meaningful book analysis discussion. As for figuring out what happened in Italy… well… it’s probably best if I just keep my mouth shut on that.
One thing I did like about this book was the different channels that were used to provide information. For example: Facebook posts, transcripts from police interviews, etc. At the very least, this made the complexity of police investigations a little bit more real for me. It brought to light how opinions are one sided, that nobody knows the full story, and things can be interpreted differently by different people. It also made me aware of how easily the written word and people’s testimonies can be twisted and manipulated. YIKES! Super scary if you think about it.
This may be the shortest review that I’ve ever written. For as excited as I was to read this book (seriously…it had so much potential with the story line!), it was a huge disappointment. If you’re only interested in reading about Jill’s recovery, her feeling sorry for herself, and not really making much progress with her memories, then go ahead and read this book. If you’re hoping for any sort of suspense or thrilling mystery, don’t waste your time.
Anybody really enjoy this book? Please tell me why. Maybe you’ll sway me. Probably not, but maybe!