Thursday, May 26, 2016

With Malice by Eileen Cook --and why I couldn't put it down

Jill wakes up with a terrible headache.  She doesn't know where she is and she can't remember last night-- is this some sort of epic hangover??  

Then she realizes she's in a hospital with a broken leg and a traumatic head injury and has no clue how she got there.  She's missing the last 6 weeks of her life-- most importantly the lead-up to a car accident that killed one of her friends.  

With the police breathing down her neck, Jill struggles to find out what really happened on their school trip to Italy.  How did she end up behind the wheel of a car?  Why does everybody think she purposely hurt her friend?  One thing she knows is that she'd never do that.  

Now, she just has the rest of the world to convince...

HURRAY!!  I have found the elusive YA Mystery of my dreams!!  If you don't regularly read my blog, then you don't know this, but I've been on the HUNT for a great YA Mystery and have been having the hardest time finding THE ONE.  Well, search over :)  This book is everything I was looking for-- great writing, interesting characters, unputdownable, A+ plot, twisty ending... I loved everything about this book!

If you've read and loved Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, and have been looking for a book to make you feel like that-- READ THIS.  This is the first mystery since I read Dangerous Girls 2 years ago, to make me feel like that (The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma is a close 2nd I would say).

The story-- Jill wakes up in a hospital and can't remember the last month or so of her life.  She can't remember her school trip to Italy, she can't remember the car accident that put her in the hospital and killed a classmate.  To the police, her memory (or lack there of) doesn't seem to matter.  They don't believe that this is just a case of a simple accident.  They believe there is more to it.... maybe even that this was completely intentional.

I know the whole "I have amnesia and can't remember this really important moment" thing is a little played out, but when it is done right, I love it.  I could read 100 books about traumatic amnesia if the stories are told like this one.  I loved that I wanted to like Jill and believe her, but since she didn't remember it was SO hard to trust!!  I loved that what I thought was going to happen, happened, but it didn't spoil the ending for me.  It actually made me really excited like-- holy shit, this is really happening, Eileen Cook rocks!!!

I can't tell you anything much else because it would take away from the Mystery/Thriller aspect of it. I will tell you it's a bit of a Amanda Knox retelling, but in a SUPER loose way.  Also,  Jill is WAY more likable and down-to-Earth than Amanda.  I will now go sing this book from the mountain-tops because I have found the YA Mystery that I've been looking for.

OVERALL: A perfect YA Mystery/Thriller.  If you liked/loved Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, this is SO your book.  If you like books that keep you on the edge of your seat and make you want to tell Real Life to go away so that you can keep reading a marvelous book, THIS is your book.  I would rec this to everyone.

This Book Contains:
  • Police interviews, blog posts, emails, media transcripts, guidebook excerpts
  • Italy
  • Friendship
  • Romance, but it's practically nonexistent
  • Economic class issues
  • A rehab hospital
  • A feminist blog
  • Divorce

My Rating: 5/5

Date Published: 6/7/2016
How I got this book: Thanks to Netgalley and HMH Children's Book Group for allowing me to read and honestly review this book.
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group

Character: Jill
Book: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

  • With Malice never actually says what Jill's feminist views were on her blog, but I think this book would appeal to her.  She likes the classics, it's full of amazing quotes, and I could totally see Jo March being a hero to Jill.

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  1. I really want to read this! I loved Dangerous Girls so I'm strongly suspecting I will love this one too.

  2. YAY!! This one is coming up soon for me and I am so excited. I just read and loved Dangerous Girls so I am excited for that comparison. Glad you loved this - Greta review!

    1. I would not throw out the DG comparison unless it was worthy!!!

  3. I LOVE Danferous Girls, LOVE! And no YA book has come even close to its perfection for me, so this review is giving me so life right now, Michelle. I need to snag myself a copy of it, so I'm pre-ordering it as soon as I'm done typing up this comment.
    And a loose Amanda Knox retelling? I''m so in!!
    Thanks for the fab review, Michelle!

    1. You won't regret it! It's totally DG-vibes!

  4. It really IS hard to find a good YA mystery. I've seen people ask for recommendations of such books and I've always come up blank. If I'm in the mood for a mystery/thriller, I've accepted that I have to look outside the YA genre - and I've found some gems. But it's still nice to see it expanding some in the teen age bracket.

    You're right, though. It's easy for a book to fall into predictable tropes, particularly when it involves plottage that has been done a million times. I'm glad to see that this one kept you on your toes!

    Lovely review - its so hard to write mystery reviews without giving away any details, lol. You're blog is totally adorbs, too. I don't know how I've never come across it before! Well, I remedied that problem by following via BL. ;)

    Brittany @ Space Between the Spines

    1. I've been asking people for recs and haven't gotten that much response. A few recs, but definitely not the same amount if I would have asked for Fantasy or mushy romance. Thanks for stopping by, I'm following back :)

  5. Ohhh now I'm really excited! I just started reading this one :D

  6. UGH! Now I need this even more. I know you said you liked it but if it's Dangerous Girls level crazy then obviously I need to read it. Plus if the main character reminds you Jo I have to meet her. Little Women is my all-time favorite.
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

  7. Okay, so I seriously wanna read this now because it includes Italy & a feminist blog & divorce. This sounds a little like 20 Questions for Gloria (which I haven't read yet, but it reminds me of the synopsis), so I seriously have to add this to my TBR! Great review!

    1. Oh yeah, if you like any of those 3 things, this is SO your book!! I haven't read 20 Questions for Gloria, but that sounds good too!!

  8. This is a book that I cannot wait to read! Thank you for sharing this review:)

  9. This is a first because I thought I would never, ever hear about a YA that was actually worth reading, let alone being a five star. I am definitely checking this out!

  10. I'm glad you liked this one!! I can't wait to read it. This one looks VERY up my alley. Fantastic review.

  11. When I found this book on Goodreads, I knew I wanted to read it IMMEDIATELY. Unfortunately I still need to wait a few more days for it... SIGH. I didn't know this book had manuscripts and stuff like those in it, so now that I know, I WILL MOST DEFINITELY READ IT WITH NO HESITATION. I always love reading books with those kinds of things inserted in them. <3 Great review, Michelle!

  12. I haven't read a lot of YA mysteries, but this one does seem promising and I am glad to hear it was a hit for you! I used to really dislike the memory loss thing, but then I read Buying Water which handled the topic really well and changed my opinion on it. Nowadays I will give books with that trope a try as long as they sound good. This book sounds like one I might enjoy, I'll have to check out some other reviews for this one. Great review!

  13. Thanks a lot for this post! Nice book, by the way. It is a great pleasure for me to meet the person who likes reading so much because this is so unusual for these days.