Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Review: The Dead List by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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It's Ella's senior year of high school and she and her best friend Linds plan to make it the best year ever. At Brock Cochran's end of summer pool party, the girls vow to have as much fun as possible before they head off to different colleges next fall. But when Ella is mysteriously attacked on her way home from the party, everything changes. Ella's carefree senior year plans disintegrate as she finds herself at the center of an attempted murder investigation.

Ella tries to move on, but her attacker isn't done yet. He shows himself in the form of horrifying signs and symbols: a clown mask strewn on her bed, a dead bird in her backpack, a shadow moving past her window in the night. And as the weeks pass, it turns out that Ella isn't the only one being tormented.

With the help of an old flame, Jensen Carver, and her friends and family, Ella tries to attain some sense of normalcy, but she can't seem to shake the feeling that there's a dark pattern hidden in the killer's every move. Suddenly, even those in her innermost circle seem suspicious. In her seemingly safe West Virginia town, Ella starts to wonder who she can trust.

Read from: April 17 to April 25, 2017
Read on: paperback


I first read this story when Jennifer L. Armentrout posted it for her readers on wattpad. It was maybe like 2 years ago and as I'm re-reading an edited version of it, I realized that I had forgotten quite a few things and that made me feel like I was reading it for the first time again.

Once again, Jennifer is exploring the thriller world except this time in a young adult book. We follow Ella who was lucky to escape her attacker on pure luck, but from there, the story unravels with more disappearances and deaths.

What I liked about Ella’s character was that she was your typical average teenage girl that people can easily relate too, tragedy aside of course. She goes to school, hangs out with her friends and has dreams to achieve. Though in the aftermath of the kidnapping’s attempt, she has a lot of difficulty to deal with it and it also brings back a lot of memories from what occur to her a few years before. The guilt of what happened then is brought forth once more.

When she meets with her counselor the following week, she asks her about taking some self-defence class because she doesn’t want to feel powerless again. These classes will force her to reconnect with her old best friend, Jensen, who was also her crush a few years back and if she was honest with herself, she hadn’t be able to forget him even though he really hurt her in the past.

But it wouldn’t be a Jennifer L. Armentrout’s without a bit a romance in it. Even if it’s not the main focus of the story, you follow Ella and Jensen’s relationship throughout the book; best friends who drifted apart and are reunited through the tragedy. If you ask me, Jensen is nearly the perfect guy in this. He is very protective of Ella and though he is teaching self-defence, you can see that it was his choice, he would do anything so she wouldn’t have to use it.

Each character, big or small, brings something to the story.  Whether it’s huge or small, they all contribute to making this story interesting. 

What I also liked about this book was that everyone could be guilty and everyone was a possible victim. As the story unfolds, you try to find what connects them and even when you find a connection, something always seems to happen and make you doubt for a second or two.

This book will keep you on your toes from book one as you will attempt to discover who the killer is. You might get it right on the first try or you might be surprise, but either way, Jennifer has a way to make you guessing until the very end and even then, you might have guessed right, but you never know what else you might discover that you didn't even see coming.

I was given an advanced copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

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