Buzz Kill by Beth Fantaskey (360 pages)
Overview: Millie Ostermeyer manages to find herself entrenched in the investigation of a series of small-town murders revolving around football, which she couldn't care less about, Coach Hank, who is hated by everyone, the high school newspaper, run by her archrival Viv, and her father, the town mayor and assistant football coach who gets pegged as the murderer. Forced to clear her father's name, Millie starts following her suspicions based off a list she made at the start of Junior year of people who would kill Coach Hank. As her investigation progresses, Millie also starts to uncover answers about mysterious transfer quarterback, Chase Albright. Together, as they investigate the crime, Millie learns more about Chase, her town, and even herself. This is a great cross-over story for contemporary fans who are looking for something a bit different. Overall: 4.8
Characters: 5 Going into this book, I wasn't sure what I expected from these characters, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Even some of the trope based characters (like the buffoon of a detective) were interesting or at least injected humor. I loved the complexity of Millie and Chase. Chase's character ended up providing so many more layers than I had anticipated originally, and I really enjoyed uncovering that.
Plot: 4.5 As with any good mystery, there were twists and turns that managed to surprise me. Even though I had a gut feeling throughout the book about the killer and was correct, I was unable to anticipate the path to discovery. Along the way, admittedly, Frantaskey even got my suspicions to waver a bit. Overall, whether it was the uncovering of clues of the unfolding of romance, I kept turning the pages filled with anticipation.
Writing: 5 The writing in this story is wonderful. It paints a picture effortlessly and genuinely portrays Millie's voice and character. Also, Fantaskey was able to take a storyline I approached feeling already familiar with the idea and make it feel fresh and exciting. I greatly enjoyed the depth infused into this comedic high school murder mystery.
If You Liked This Book/ Similar Reads:
Firecracker by David Iserson- While not a mystery, the protagonist's voice is very similar to Millie's, and the writing instantly called Firecracker to mind. You can see my review here: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/08/weekly-reviews-and-recommendations-week_13.html
Links of Interest:
Coming Up This Month: October: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/09/coming-up-this-month-october.html