Friday, February 16, 2018

Book Review: R.I.P. Eliza Hart

Title: R.I.P. Eliza Hart
Author: Alyssa Sheinmel
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Mystery | Mental Illness
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: November 28, 2017
Source: Library

Format: Physical

When Eliza Hart, the most popular girl at Ventana Ranch boarding school, is found dead on the cliffs outside her dormitory, Ellie Sokoloff is determined to figure out what happened to her. After all, Eliza was Ellie’s childhood best friend. 
Never mind that ever since Ellie arrived at school Eliza has spread terrible rumors about her, calling her a liar and a stalker, when all Ellie wanted to do was rekindle their old friendship. Or that Ellie’s claustrophobia limits where she can go and what she can do. Or that Ellie’s suitemate, Sam, is the only one who will help her . . . because to everyone else, Ellie looks like the top suspect. 
Can Ellie clear her name and solve the mystery behind Eliza’s death? Her hunt for the truth will uncover secrets she never imagined, sending her deep into her own memories of her childhood with Eliza Hart (goodreads)

R.I.P. Eliza Hart was unexpected. 
Plot: From the synopsis, R.I.P. Eliza Hart sounded like a typical murder mystery that I had come to expect from Young Adult books. This novel was so much more than a murder mystery; it tackled mental health beautifully. It was hard to put R.I.P. Eliza Hart down because Sheinmel revealed just enough information about Eliza and Ellie's relationship to keep me reading and digging deeper. I think everyone should read this book, especially those who don't typically read murder mysteries; R.I.P. Eliza Hart is a book that will stay with you for a long time. 

Characters: It's important to note that trauma and mental illnesses are at the forefront of R.I.P Eliza Hart; the mystery behind Eliza's death played second fiddle to Ellie's confronting her claustrophobia triggers and how depression affected others. R.I.P. Eliza Hart was also unique because there were chapters from Eliza's perspective as she recounted how death felt and her relationship with Ellie and those around her.  

Worldbuilding: Eliza's boarding school was in sunny California and was just remote enough to feel removed, but the various flashbacks really helped illuminate the California lifestyle. 

Short N Sweet: R.I.P Eliza Hart is an important book that I recommend to everyone. 


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