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Hard hitting–Are you Still There Review

areyoustillthereTitle: Are you Still There?

Author: Sarah Lynn Scheerger

Publisher:  Albert Whitman & Company

Publish Date: September 5, 2015                        Pages: 288

Content Rating: Mild

Book Rating: starstarstar

Type: Mobi (ebook)


 

Gabriella Mallory, AP student and perfect-daughter-in-training, stands barefoot on a public toilet for three hours while her school is on lockdown. Someone has planted a bomb and she is hiding. The bomb is defused but the would-be-bomber is still at large—and everyone at Central High School is a suspect. The school starts a top-secret crisis help line and Gabi is invited to join. When she does, she is drawn into a suspenseful game of cat and mouse with the bomber, who has unfinished business. He leaves threatening notes on campus. He makes threatening calls to the help line. And then he begins targeting Gabi directly. Is it because her father is the lead police detective on the case? Is the bomber one of her new friends? Could it be her new boyfriend with his complicated past? As the story unfolds, Gabi knows she is somehow connected to the bomber. Even worse, she knows she is part of his plan. Can Gabi reach out and stop him or will she be too late?

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This an ‘arc” copy eBook supplied by Netgalley. I am not receiving any monetary benefit or any kickback for this review. I received this arc for an honest review. This review is cross-posted on Amazon, Goodreads and given directly to the publisher.

It took me a long time to get into this book even though it’s been on my TBR for a while.  I’m not even sure why. I enjoyed this book, but it would count as a onetime read for me. It just wasn’t my type of book. Are you There? is a young adult suspense thriller?

 

It lives up to that description by starting off with the main character scared and shut up in a bathroom stall during a bomb threat. I was intrigued by the premise, but the first few lines hooked me into the story. It just seemed to stall a little in the middle and sway from its course. The romance that sprung up around the third chapter took prominence.

 

The story focuses on Gabi and her relationships, and how everyone in intertwined. AYT is a 1st person point of view with each chapter starting with a stranger’s manifesto. This addition to each chapter gives an inside view to the antagonist of the story. There are a few things that don’t add up for me, which caused a star loss. In example, when the school locked down. When I was in high school, bomb threats meant the kids were moved out to an area away from the school. The locking down classrooms were more shooter scenario than bomb threat. It just threw off the scene a little. Although the intensity of the scene with Gabi is amazing and a good hook. I did like the hotline idea, but I was surprised by the lack of adult supervision. But in fiction land it gave good scenes for characters to interact.

 

Gabi’s voice was strong and insightful at times. But the story seemed overran by the romance. Even at times, was Gabi’s personality seemed overran. But some high school girls get obsessed over their boys, but it didn’t fit with how I was reading Gabi. The other characters weren’t really as memorable as Gabi. I liked the thrill and suspense trickled throughout the book. Just some characterizations were lacking and didn’t do the story justice.

 

I really liked the theme, and it was very consistent with the story. I just wasn’t impressed with how the premise was executed. The ending wrapped everything up. I give three out of 5 stars. It was a nice read, just not the type of young adult I like to read. I’m more character development verses romance. Unless its noted as a romance novel.

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