by Jane Casey
Series: Jess Tennant #1
Published by: St. Martin
Sixteen-year-old Jess Tennant has never met any of her relatives, until her mom suddenly drags her out of London to spend the summer in the tiny English town where her family’s from. Her mom’s decision is surprising, but even more surprising is the town’s reaction to Jess. Everywhere she goes, people look at her like they’ve seen a ghost. In a way, they have—she looks just like her cousin Freya, who died shortly before Jess came to town. Jess immediately feels a strange connection to Freya, whom she never got to meet alive. But the more Jess learns about the secrets Freya was keeping while she was alive, the more suspicious Freya’s death starts to look. One thing is for sure: this will be anything but the safe, boring summer in the country Jess was expecting. Beloved author Jane Casey breaks new ground with How to Fall, a thrilling and insightfully written mystery.
How to Fall is the first book in the Jess Tenant duology by Jane Casey. It is a young adult mystery with a snarky protagonist and shares her summer at a small English seaside town. Casey wraps us up in an unexplained death mystery involving Jess’s cousin and adds a smidgeon of romance to keep things interesting.
How to Fall begins when Jess Tennant finds out she and her Mum will be spending the summer in her mother’s hometown. She will meet cousins and an Aunt she has never met. On the drive, she discovers her cousin who looks disturbingly like her died last summer when she fell from a cliff. Intrigued Jess sets out to learn about her cousin Freya and the mystery surrounding her death.
Jess is a well rounded character who doesn’t accept bullshit. When she caught her boyfriend in London cheating on her, her response was fantastic and I couldn’t help hollering, “You Go, Girl.” She is inquisitive and has a young “Sherlock” like quality with her observations. There are cliques and secrets among the teens in town, and despite advice to let things lie, she is determined to unearth what happen. Will, was one of Freya’s best friends, and although we have just begun to get to know him, I immediately was intrigued by him. There is a young man, who shows an interest in Jess, and his ex-girlfriend protects her turf making for a little tension, but all of this led back to the mystery.
How to Fall focused on the mystery at hand, and I completely enjoyed the subtle clues, suspects and Jess’s observations. We get a little side dish of the family and the whisper of romance that only served to enhance the story. How to Fall wrapped up nicely and we saw closure to the mystery. Bet Your Life contains an all-new mystery and Jess once again will use her mad detective skills. I look forward to learning more about her and the other characters we met.
For those looking for a murder mystery in the young adult genre, How to Fall serves up nicely.
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