Estelle: See Jane Run by Hannah Jayne

See Jane Run by Hannah JayneSee Jane Run by Hannah Jayne ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: SourceBooks Fire
Pages: 288
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: family, friendship, secrets
Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley. (Thanks!)

Summary: Riley’s parents have always been overprotective but when she finds a birth certificate in her baby book for someone named Jane, who is the same age of her… she starts to wonder if her whole life is a lie. Determined to find out who Jane is and what her parents have been hiding, Riley decides to do her research any way she can.

 

Did you read The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney when you were a kid? That was a popular pick in my elementary school, and I couldn’t help but think of it when Riley discovers this birth certificate in her own baby book, a book that contains no pictures of her as an actual baby.

I was a little nervous that See Jane Run would end up all too similar to Cooney’s book and was ultimately relieved to see that it went in a completely different direction. I was so far off base, and while it was nice to be shocked and surprised… the execution was a little rough.

From the beginning, I really liked Riley’s best friendship with Shelby. Even though Riley had recently moved far away from where she lived before, Shelby always made an effort to stop in and despite her over active imagination, her heart seemed to be in the right place. She’s with Riley when Jane’s birth certificate is found, and I’m not sure just how curious Riley would have been about it without Shelby’s proposed scenarios (as wild as they were). So now Riley is curious bordering on scared, piecing together small inconsistencies from conversations with her parents and wondering just what the heck is going on.

Even though Riley’s parents are super strict about her going out, they seemed to really mean well and love her so it was sad for me to think they were the villains of the story. I was just as confused as Riley, especially when she continued to hit brick walls in her search to find the truth. JD, a guy Riley met in detention, pitched in to help and I really liked him. He was funny and sweet and thoughtful, and nothing like Riley imagined. But their potential love connection took a backseat to the creepy situations unfolding in Riley’s life: the weird car that keeps following her, the web page that pops up on her computer unprovoked, etc. As See Jane Run continued, Riley’s life grew to be more and more dangerous.

Unfortunately, the slow pacing and lack of development in some of the story never left me feeling on edge enough. In fact, scenes would build up only to fizzle in a sluggish way and it had me questioning if this could be categorized as a true thriller. I was concerned for Riley, who had no idea who to turn to and who to trust. It seemed like everyone was lying to her at one point, and that’s a lonely place to be. But it wasn’t until the final chapters that I felt super wrapped up in the action and the potential hazards of this situation. (I probably could have done without the epilogue too.)

On the plus side, See Jane Run worked better for me than Jayne’s debut, Truly Madly Deadly. Why? This story line felt more relatable, and I must applaud an ending that comes out of left field like this one did. Still, pacing and development is so imperative to making a thriller thrilling and I needed more.

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Estelle: Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

Truly Madly Deadly by Hannah JayneTruly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 262
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: Death, stalking, secrets
Format read: eBook from Publisher via NetGalley (Thanks!)

Summary: When Sawyer’s popular jock boyfriend dies in a car accident because of his drunk driving, she thinks the secrets of their relationship will be buried with him. But a mysterious note in her locker (“You’re welcome” attached to a newspaper clipping of her boyfriend’s accident) has her wondering what really happened that night… especially when other horrible things start happening right before her eyes.

When I picked up Truly, Madly, Deadly, I expected something along the lines of Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf — a book about a girl who survives a car accident that kills her boyfriend (who wasn’t really the nicest guy). I was completely glued to that book until the very end.

But Truly, Madly, Deadly only grazes what Shaw managed to do in Breaking Beautiful and I really missed that happening here. While main character Sawyer does wrestle with the truths of her relationship with Kevin, the novel focuses on the domino effect of bad events that occur after his car accident. All of these terrible things are somehow connected to Sawyer, are supplemented with a note or flowers, and are downright scary. Instead of going to the authorities, she fears all of these occurrences might be her fault and keeps it to herself.

I really felt for Sawyer throughout the book. Her boyfriend suddenly dies, she feels like she can’t trust anyone, her dad is preoccupied with work and his new baby with his new wife, and her mom lives on the opposite side of the country. The only two people who seem at all on her side are Chloe, her best friend from forever, and Cooper, the new guy in her life who is super sweet. But even so, she doesn’t divulge what is happening to anyone until everything spirals out of control and too many lives are at stake.

Personally, I felt very suspicious of every character I met in this book. (This is probably in direct relation to my reading of the amazingly horrifying Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas.) And while the ending semi-took me by surprise, I would have loved to have the book go on a tad longer instead of just dropping off and ending on a semi-joke. There was too much blood shed for a tone change like that. Plus, I’m not sure if Sawyer’s character made the kind of growth that I needed her to make.

A little bit more character development and plot tweaking could have really strengthened Truly, Madly, Deadly. Instead, I felt like I had just finished an addicting but not entirely fulfilling Lifetime movie of the week.

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Nailed It: Upcoming July Releases

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by the blog for another Nailed It!

We’ve decided to mix things up a bit and introduce you nail-polish lovers to another brand we really adore, Zoya. Their color selection is fantastic and the polish is long-lasting. We’ve actually texted one another before that the polish was holding up so well, but we were ready for a color change before it even started chipping. So without further ado, here are two books we’re anxiously looking forward to in July.

Estelle>>

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

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It took me so long to pick a book to feature in this month’s NAILED IT. As always, there are so many pretty covers but I love this one a ton. The sun in the background, the color of her dress, the subtle plaid of his shirt. So great. I’m almost done with THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US and I am really liking it. The colors are kind of fall-ish but I could definitely see them popping during the summer too. It’s like the romantic part of summer — at dusk and holding hands!

The Distance Between Us Nailed It Zoya Colors Rather Be Rreading

Ginger | Gretchen | Stella

Magan >>

Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

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I have to be honest and admit that there are so, so many stinkin’ books I’m looking forward to in July that I picked this one based purely on what I’ve been wanting to do with my nails lately. Dark nail polish has been a popular thing, but I feel it kind of phases out a bit during the summertime. I’ve seen so so so many girls rocking the dark nail polish with lovely coral or mint outfits lately. I absolutely love it! I personally want to push my summery colors aside to try this out. So why don’t you guys step away from the beachy reads and bright polishes to give this dark, mystery thriller a go with me?

nail polish colors to match the Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne book cover

Raven | Diana | Trixie

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