Thursday, February 8, 2018

R.I.P. Eliza Hart by Alyssa B. Sheinmel-- Not the Mystery I was expecting, but still an impactful book

R.I.P. Eliza Hart

When Ellie came to Ventana Ranch Boarding School, she was hoping for a fresh start.  Her crippling claustrophobia has cost so much, that she was hoping the fresh air & open spaces coupled with no one knowing about her problem would change her life.

Thanks to popular girl, Eliza Hart, Ellie's fresh start is over before it starts.  Coincidence has brought a blast from the past in the form of Ellie's former best friend from childhood.  Ellie initially thinks they could rekindle their friendship, but Eliza isn't having it.  Instead, she spreads rumors calling Ellie a stalker, ensuring that Ventana Ranch is as lonely for Ellie as home was.

When Eliza is found dead, outcast Ellie is the suspect on everyone's mind.  With the help of her roommate (who just started talking to her), she starts on a path to clear her name and find out what really happened to Eliza Hart.







Going into this book, I was expecting a mystery.  It sounded like Ellie wanted to clear her name and would go all Nancy Drew and solve the case.  And while that is partially true, it was more a book about mental illness, friendship, and family.

I thought this book did a good job conveying mental illness in a way that wasn't preachy, blamey, or glamorizing. I'm sure that's a tough thing to accomplish, and I give Alyssa Sheinmel all the props for achieving it.  I don't have depression or claustrophobia, so I can't speak to the accuracy of the portrayal, but from my perspective as an outsider, it felt well done.

What I thought this book didn't need: Sam.  The guy roommate that became a love interest never felt right to me.  They weren't friends, never really even talked, before Ellie became enemy number 1, and then all of a sudden he's her rock to lean on??  It's not that I didn't like Sam as a character, it's that I didn't feel like their development to fast friends and more was believable.  Not every story needs a romance, and this might have been one of them.

I would say the best part of this book was really delving into the why of everything.  With the mystery not being all that mysterious, we really get to focus on Eliza and everything she was dealing with.  I felt a lot of emotions reading these parts because Ellie would have been there for Eliza, but never got the chance.


OVERALL: The lack of mystery may have detracted from my enjoyment just a tad-- as did the random unneeded romance and the "I don't know I'm pretty" pretty girl, but I still would recommend it.  The emotional journey and portrayal of mental health is what made this book worth reading.

Date Published: 11/28/2017
How I got this book: Thanks to the author!!  I won this book on her Twitter Giveaway!
Publisher: Scholastic Press


Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 3.5/4











Character: Ellie Sokoloff
Book: This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

  • This book is full of friendship goodness, and I think that's just what Ellie needs in her life.






5 comments:

  1. I love ya reads but the one problem I find is that almost every ya believes there needs to be a romance. I like romance but not every story needs one and I have a hard time with those that feel convenient or forced. I still want to read this though. Great review.

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    1. Totally agree-- romance is not always necessary, but I feel like the publishers must push authors to add one in YA books because sometimes these romances are SO forced.

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  2. I hate when a romance feels forced or unnecessary. I lived most of my YA life not in a relationship, lol. It's not unrealistic. I think a lot of books would be better if they didn't try to squeeze that in there. There are times when it is written really well, and I love that, but I don't think it needs to feel like a requirement for a book.

    It's always disappointing when you go into a book thinking one thing and it ends up being something else. I hadn't heard of this book, though! Thanks for sharing!

    Do You Dog-ear?

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  3. I thought the mental heath rep was excellent in this book. I totally connected to both Ellie and Eliza with their hopelessness and frustration with their recovery. Uh, I have to say, I liked Sam. I was not sure about him at first, but he grew on me as the story progressed.

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  4. I'm a fan of this author's books and I want to try this one. Great review!
    Jen Ryland Reviews

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