How to Fall by Jane Casey, published by Corgi on 31st January 2013
Freya is found drowned - but was it suicide or murder? Her cousin, Jess Tennant, is determined to uncover the truth. But asking questions may prove deadly - anyone could be a suspect and everyone is hiding something...
Can Jess unravel a mystery involving secret love, seething jealousy and a cliff-top in the pitch black of night?
'How to Fall' is a young adult crime thriller, described as 'Mean Girls with murder'. The story shows what happens when female rivalry goes too far. I'm a big fan of intricately plotted and exciting crime thrillers but there seem to be so few around which are written specifically for a YA audience. Jane Casey, normally an author of adult books, has transitioned smoothly to a younger readership and has delivered a truly gripping story.
Jess arrives with her mother in the small town of Port Sentinel after the apparent suicide of her cousin Freya. After one too many things fail to add up, Jess determines to leave no stone unturned in her quest to unravel the truth about what really happened.
The book has a fantastic opening scene which left me with my heart in my mouth and had me instantly gripped. I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next and although I was only going to read a few chapters, I ended up reading practically the whole book in one sitting.
Jess Tennant is one of those characters who I instantly warmed to and admired. I would love to have had a best friend like her. She's incredibly level headed and smart, determined and intelligent and she's not afraid to stand up for herself. All qualities which I really admire. Jess could definitely be seen as a modern day Nancy Drew. She may be a teenage sleuth but she is quick thinking and leaves no stone unturned in her quest to determine what happened to Freya.
I enjoyed the small town setting which narrowed down the number of suspects but equally led to a sense of claustrophobia. It felt like there were secrets hidden behind every door in the small community and even the most upstanding of citizens seemed to have a secret which they didn't want revealed.
I really liked the story and the characters. It was brilliantly written, tense and exciting with a mystery lying at the heart of the plot. I literally did not have a clue what was going to be revealed. One minute I thought I knew exactly who the guilty party were and the next an unexpected revelation made me change my mind completely.
I can't wait to get my hands on more by Jane Casey. Her debut young adult offering definitely makes her one to watch!