Thursday, July 23, 2015

Book Review: Nearly Gone

Title: Nearly Gone (Nearly Gone #1)
Author: Elle Cosimano
Genre: Young Adult // Murder // Mystrey
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Format: Physical
Source: Purchased (Half Priced Books)

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother's job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone's skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.
Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn't figure it all out soon—she'll be next (goodreads).


Nearly Gone was an unsettling mystery with realistic characters which held my interest until the romance started to pick up. 

Plot: Nearly Boswell is from the wrong side of the tracks. Her father skipped town when she was younger, her mother is an erotic dancer, and she can feel people's emotions through something as simple as making skin contact. When her classmates starting dying one by one, Nearly, or Leigh, is at the center of the mystery. 

I guess when I first picked up this book, I only skimmed the synopsis and had no idea that Nearly had some supernatural powers. I really liked how it was explained in the novel and that emotions were associated with different scents for Leigh. For a murder mystery with a supernatural element, I felt that Cosimano didn't take advantage of Leigh's gift. I was reminded of The Body Finder but was disappointed that Leigh mostly relied on her academic knowledge rather than her supernatural ability. 

The killer's approach and cryptic messages were well thought out and a fun guess game for the reader. Surprisingly, the killer is not someone you can easily guess given a few conversations between key characters. Regardless, I found the killer's motive behind the murders to be lacking. 

Characters: Nearly Boswell is tough as nails and I appreciate her attempt to make a better for her life. She has an odd friendship with Jeremy, her childhood best friend who shares her loneliness, and Anh, her close friend who is also her competition. Even though I wanted to connect with Leigh, her selfish acts kept me at a considerable distance. Her whirlwind romance with the token bad boy character starts to overshadow the murder mystery and just get in the way of my enjoyment. 

WorldBuilding: As a person who has only been to D.C for 8 hours, I really enjoyed this holistic description of D.C. Tourists, like myself, only know the downtown area and the historical tours, so I felt really connected to Nearly and her classmates who come from the trailer parks. I really loved how the characters had varying issues from suicide, to drug abuse, to domestic abuse. Cosimano was not afraid to paint a not-so-pretty picture for those who are not living behind white picket fences. 

Short N Sweet: Nearly Gone is a gritty murder mystery with light supernatural touches. While I loved the journey, I found the conclusion to be disappointing.  


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