Friday, December 23, 2016

Book Review: This is Our Story

Title: This is our Story
Author: Ashley Elston
Genre: Young Adult | Mystery | Thriller 
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Source: Library
Format: Hardcover

Five went in. Four came out.
No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them. 
Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the district attorney’s office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.
Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As investigates with Stone, the aging prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot, she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own (goodreads).

This is Our Story was exciting and had twists along the way...until it got boring. 
Plot: This is Our Story is told through two different perspectives: the killer and our main character Kate. This format typically makes YA mysteries thrilling and it's no different for This is Our Story. From the start, I was engaged in the novel and wanted nothing more than to pull an all-nighter. But I'm too old for that. I was loving This is Our Story until maybe the last half of the book. Even though the book is only 320 pages, it felt as though it were dragging and the twists and turns weren't as "twisty" anymore. I would have been happy if the author had cut about 50 pages from the final copy. 

Characters: Kate, our main character, snagged an internship at the DA's office which puts her right in the action when it comes to identifying the murderer of Grant Perkins - the boy she may or may not have been texting and falling in love with. I truly liked Kate and her all of her friends, she was smart and often times strategic. I found it interesting that she could almost spot micro expressions which came from her years of living behind a camera lens. 

The River Point Boys all had an air of danger and mystery which made it hard to point the finger at a possible killer.

Worldbuilding: Elston clearly knows what she is talking about. Her detailed world and understanding of the legal system come from personal experiences and research. While her research was painstakingly clear, I was disappointed by the lack of diversity. There were no mentions of race unless a character was identified as non-white, and that was all of 8 background characters. 

Short N Sweet: The is Our Story had a strong start but fizzled toward the end.   


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