Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Amateurs (#1) by Sara Shepard-- I Totally Missed Sara Shepard In My Life

The Amateurs

Seneca is totally addicted to Case Not Closed, a website where amateur sleuths try to solve cold cases.  When she sees a post from the sister of a murder victim from a case she's familiar with, she jumps at the chance to do some investigating over Spring Break.  She recruits her Case Not Closed bestie, Maddy to help-- and Maddy happens to live close to where the original abduction took place.

Once in Connecticut, things get crazy.  Maddy isn't who Seneca thought she was, other people get involved in helping, and the sister isn't being as cooperative.

Once they get past those obstacles, the group of now 5 get to unraveling Helena's disappearance and murder.  Once things start heating up, it becomes clear the killer is watching them.  Will the killer or will they get caught in the killer's web?

You know what I love about Sara Shepard books?  EVERYTHING!!  They're my total guilty pleasure books!  Going back to another Sara Shepard series after so long without one made my heart happy.

This series has so many elements that I love:  Mystery, Cold Cases, Red Herrings, Fancy Living, Fancy Parties, Fashion, and Secrets!!

If you read Pretty Little Liars, this is very much the same formula and feel.  Ms. Shepard isn't re-vamping her style, she's sticking with what works.  BUT, I didn't think this worked as well as the Pretty Little Liars mostly because the characters weren't as strong.  There was a lot of unnecessary drama that had to do with the 5 teens trying to get along enough to work towards their goal of cold-case solving-- and I was more into the mystery than I was them.

I thought the mystery was completely solvable.  I thought I knew who it was right away, and I ended up being right-- but I wasn't 100% sure, so it was still fun walking through all the twists that Helena's life took before it ended.  I just wished there weren't so many plot-holes.  I had to keep shuffling back pages to check on certain things that were stated, only to find that they didn't line up with what I was reading currently.  That kind of stuff BUGS ME.

I want to recommend this because it's completely fun, but I also know a lot of people might not like how NOT DEEP the book is.  So I'm going to say-- yes read it!! But as a guilty-pleasure fun series like I do with all Sara Shepard books!  Her books are just FUN to read!

OVERALL:  A fun mystery that I think could be taken or left.  I enjoyed it, but I personally enjoy Sara Shepard books and don't take them too seriously.  I thought parts of this could have been more in-depth and the characters could have been more likable, but I still really liked the book.  Everyone should have a guilty pleasure series in their lives!!

Date Published: 11/01/2016
How I got this book: BEA- thanks to Disney-Hyperion for giving me a copy to read and honestly review.
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 3.5/5

Character: Seneca
Book: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

  • Just in case she hasn't already read this-- I figured it's a GO-TO for anyone interested in True Crime.

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  1. YES! I totally agree. I don't care that all of her books are similar. They're addicting, easy to read, and totally okay for guilty pleasure reading ;)

  2. I still can't believe I have never read this author. I kept wanting to. These days, I am not reading very much YA kind of burned out. Still I should try one sometime just for fun.

    1. You should totally try them. The first 8 PLL books were super addicting. This one isn't as good as those, but I still liked it a lot.

  3. I liked but didn't love PLL but never continued with the series. I do love guilty pleasure reads though so I might have to keep this in mmd for that! Great review!

    1. I neer continued once that whole Jamaica thing happened. It just got to be too crazy after that. Guilty pleasures are the best though and so needed in my life!

  4. I read the first 2 or 3 PLL and liked them! They're definitely a guilty pleasure kind of read. This one sounds so fun! I'm happy you liked it. :)

    1. Guilty pleasures like PLL are so much fun. That series does get a little out-of-hand though, but the first 8 books were fun. I hope this one doesn't go ON AND ON.

  5. This sounds really interesting! And I haven't read a book by this author, actually *hides*

    1. LOL I forgive you, don't hide!! Sara Shepard books are really fun to read. I totally recommend PLL and The Lying Game.