The Girl in The Picture by Alexandra Monir (3 out of 5)
This is a book I should have liked better than 3 stars. It ended up being a typical, clichéd teen read. I had hoped for an edge-of-the-seat teen mystery, but it felt more like a parsed copy of Teen Vogue meets Nancy Drew meets Gossip Girl. All in all, a bit of a disjointed story with this one. Monir’s writing and her characters are solid, but the events leading up to, as well as the outcome, were ones I saw coming halfway through, so that lost much of its appeal. For me, at least.
Ms. Popularity Contest Nicole Morgan is known as many things, but she’s never been known as the Girl in Chace’s picture. Not normally a bad thing, except that the Chace has been found dead in the woods. And did I mention that he had a girlfriend, who isn’t Nicole? With a setup like this, Nicole is going to take the fall, and yes, she’s soon the primary suspect. The reader gets the whole story, told alternately by Nicole and her former best friend and Chace’s actual girlfriend Lana. It’s a story that is easily told and sadly, easily figured out. Solid characters and writing, as I said, but you know who the hell did it pretty quick. And if that is the case, where’s the selling point, the lure, to the book? It just disappears into thin air. If you’re looking for spine-tibgling and surprises at every corner, sorry, reader, this is not the one.