Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne (4 out of 5)



I haven’t read a book in two days. This sounds like a selfish statement. I’ve been on a tear lately and been able to read a book a day again, like the good old days. Well, not the case the last couple of days. I did also read The Dinner by Herman Koch, but I need to mentally write that one before I post it. This book by Ms. Hannah Jayne was a quick read. I picked it up at 10:45pm and was done by 1:20am. Of course that’s last night and that’s why I’m a little bit more tired this morning on my way into the bookstore. Oh well. It was worth it. 

Sawyer Dodd is a typical teenage girl coping with the normal teenage girl problems, with one glaring difference:  her boyfriend just died in a car accident after drunk driving. Sawyer isn’t dealing with that well, because, well, she loved the guy, but also because she has a dark secret; part of her is relieved that Kevin is no longer around. Say what? Turns out that Sawyer and Kevin’s ‘fairytale’ school romance was anything but and Kevin was smacking her around and being abusive. Sawyer said nothing, but the night he dies, she ends things with him. Hours later, he’s gone and she’s saddled with guilt. She returns to school, where there are tributes everywhere, and also enemies. Namely one Maggie, a former friend of Sawyer’s and a former girlfriend of Kevin. Maggie and her cliche go out of the way to make life difficult for Sawyer in the wake of Kevin’s death. 

Add to that Sawyer’s somewhat turbulent home life. Her parents are recently divorced and her dad has remarried and is expecting a baby with his new wife, so Sawyer is getting used to that idea still. She lives in a subdivision where her house is the only one occupied, and it’s spooky as hell. She has one kid who’s socially awkward and sweet on her that she nicely rebuffs (Logan) and another who’s a hot little number and for whom she has strong feelings, despite her guilt over Kevin (Cooper). She has the best friend a girl could have in Chloe. She has a teacher who’s hitting on her and making her wildly uncomfortable. She has a lot going on. It’s about to get worse. 

After Kevin’s death she finds a note in her locker saying “You’re welcome.” More notes accumulate. The teacher hits on her, then suddenly kicks off due to a peanut allergy. She begins to get flowers with creepy notes. The nasty Maggie “kills herself”. Chloe is attacked. It seems that Sawyer has a stalker who is offing everyone who upsets her. She goes to a police officer and tells him all of this, but she comes off sounding crazy, so it’s put to bed. Sawyer’s clothes are shredded, someone paints the word WHORE on her locker, and they turn on her. Will she figure out who it is? Is it a complete stranger or someone who knows her intimately? Why are they doing this to her, and to people she knows? Is someone setting her up for a fall? 

I am going to tell you this- this book was great! Fast paced, great characters, twists and turns you weren’t expecting, and elements of surprise left and right. It’s not hokey, it’s realistic, and you can’t set it down. The only reason I only gave it 4 was because I did guess the outcome before the end, but please, don’t let that deter you from reading this book. It’s awesome and you won’t be sorry. 

~ by generationgbooks on September 5, 2013.

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