The Foxglove Killings
Author: Tara Kelly
Expected publication: September 1, 2015
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Format: 320 pages, Hardcover
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary
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**I received an eBook copy of The Foxglove Killings through Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.**
Nova spent her days reading crime novels, working at her grandfather’s diner, hanging with best friend Alex and trying to stay away from the entitled rich kids that continually bully them. Suddenly, her life is thrown into chaos as she starts falling for her best friend. The only problem is, he’s not the same Alex that she grew up with. He starting to become unhinged. It all started with the gruesome display of a dead deer at the local playground. When one of the bullies disappear and her body turns up, fingers point to Alex who people say was the last one to see her alive. In the midst of the investigation, Alex himself disappears and another body is discovered. Nova is fighting to prove Alex’s innocence and find out what happened to him, but along the way Nova can’t help but question if she really knew who Alex was.
Plot/Concept: When I originally read the synopsis, I didn’t know if I wanted to read it. I wanted to because it sounded so interesting and I love watching those crime shows. At the same time, knowing how big of a pansy I was, I knew I’d be scared if I read it. I got 5 pages in — where the deer is discovered — and I closed the book because then I started hearing noises and freaked the heck out. I told you, pansy. I pulled through and kept reading because once it really started, I couldn’t put it down. I needed to know who did it! The concept isn’t anything new, there’s a bunch of murder mysteries out there but the plot was really fantastic. I really liked the direction that it went and I even enjoyed the romance. I love best friends discovering feelings for each other.
Writing: The writing was really great and detailed. It pulls you right into the story and the imagery gave me chills. I think that with the addition of the diary/journal entries before the chapters added extra mystery and really strings you along. It was hard to put down the book when the next chapter starts with the thoughts of the killer. My only issue, which I dropped half a star for, was that the beginning was a little slow for me. After the discovery of the deer, things slowed down a bit and I was waiting for something to happen. It was also unclear when exactly Amber (the bully) disappeared. I felt like it was a tiny plot hole there, where one day they were talking and the next people where whispering about it but the main character already knew. I think that was the only part in the writing that bothered me. Kelly did really well to build the anticipation and deflecting blame to make it hard for you to guess who did it.
Characters: I couldn’t really relate to any of the characters since they’ve gone through so much worse in their lives than I ever had. They grew up in such bad situations and I really liked how strong Nova, Alex, and even Jenika are. I like Nova’s investigative side. Her voice was very likable and I didn’t get annoyed by her. She’s a smart kid and deals pretty well with her circumstances. I really liked Alex — I can’t really explain why because it took me by surprise. One moment, he was just best friend Alex and then the next it was different. I know it had to do with how much he loved Nova and everything he does to protect her and stand up for her. I have to say though, he does get pretty sketchy and sometimes I wavered on whether he was guilty or innocent. Jenika was an interesting character, definitely memorable. She was very snarky and feisty. I kind of liked it.
Memorable Moments: The Foxglove Killings was more 4.5 than 4 stars to me. I have to say it did scare me and I could feel my heart beating like crazy when a dead body was discovered. It was all a part of the thrill I guess. I tried to be a detective while reading this and let’s just say Crime Scene Investigator or being a part of the Behavioral Analysis Unit is not in my future. I could not guess who the killer was! So finding out who was behind it all along was a huge shocker! It blew my mind! Even if you don’t like murder mysteries, you should give this a try!