Monday, 7 September 2015
Are You Still There - Sarah Lynn Scheerger
"After her high school is rocked by an anonymous bomb threat, "perfect student" Gabriella Mallory is recruited to work on a secret crisis helpline that may help uncover the would-be bomber's identity.
Gabriella Mallory, AP student and perfect-daughter-in-training, stands barefoot on a public toilet for three hours while her school is on lockdown. Someone has planted a bomb and she is hiding. The bomb is defused but the would-be-bomber is still at large. And everyone at Central High School is a suspect. The school starts a top-secret crisis help line and Gabi is invited to join. When she does, she is drawn into a suspenseful game of cat and mouse with the bomber, who has unfinished business. He leaves threatening notes on campus. He makes threatening calls to the help line. And then he begins targeting Gabi directly. Is it because her father is the lead police detective on the case? Is the bomber one of her new friends. Could it be her new boyfriend with his complicated past? As the story unfolds, Gabi knows she is somehow connected to the bomber. Even worse she is part of his plan. Can Gabi reach out and stop him? Or will she be too late?" - Goodreads
I received a copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
For the first time in forever, I read reviews of this book before I started reading it. I looked it up on Goodreads just to see how many pages it had, and saw all these 1/2* reviews, so I was intrigued as to what was so bad about it. And I found out, there was too much romance. Well I don't mind romance, so I read it anyway. And for the record, I didn't think there was too much romance or that the book was more focused on the relationship rather than the nearly-bombing-incident, I thought it was pretty good.
The first thing I noticed was that I didn't like our main character, Gabi. She was a little stuck up, a little (or a lot) perfect and she wouldn't shut up about it and that irritated me. She was also so judgemental a lot of the time, once assuming a guy called Miguel (we'll get to him later) didn't speak English just because of his name... Like really?
I really really enjoyed the whole bombing plot aspect of the story - I did wish it could have played a bigger part as a whole but it was nice nonetheless. I loved the idea of the top-secret crisis helpline, that was epic. I don't think I've ever read anything like that before, I kind of wish there was a whole book just dedicated to that. It was definitely my favourite aspect.
The romance in this book is a bit of a hit and miss. It was nice that it wasn't completely love at first sight, but I just didn't feel that there was any connection between them, it just seemed so bland. I also had a little issue with the speed they were moving at... now we don't really know the time period we're working with in the book, but I'll say it spans over 2/3months maximum. In that time, they've gotten together, had their argument and met the parents and the parents have met the parents. Is that just me or is that a little fast? I've been with my boyfriend for a year and he only met my mum because we were going on holiday, 8months into the relationship. I've never even seen a picture of his parents. Are we slow or are they fast? Oh well, each to their own. Maybe I'm just being bitter.
The characters weren't as complex as they should have been, they felt incredibly 2dimensional, they felt underdeveloped. Now maybe this was because of the whole 'whodunnit' mystery, but I still think they could have been filled out a little bit more, you know?
One of my Goodreads updates was "Best thing that's happened in this book so far" and now I have no idea what it was, but let me tell you that around 55/60% something really good happens... (:D?)
The mystery. Oh god. I loved the idea of the mystery, finding out who was behind it and why etc. But it was so goddamn anticlimactic I didn't even know what the point of keeping it a secret was. The book would have gone down so much better if we knew who it was, dual point of view, alternate chapters, you get what I'm saying right?
Overall, I enjoyed it but it wasn't really the best book that I've read. It wasn't anywhere close. But if I can read a whole book, that means it wasn't that bad. So it wasn't. And if you don't mind the stuff I mentioned in this review, then you'll love it because I liked everything else! I rated this 2* on Goodreads!