Title: Tragedy Girl
Author: Christine Hurley Deriso
Publication: April 8, 2016
Genre: YA Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
Of course Anne would be drawn to Blake. He’s good looking, he’s friendly, and they both bring sob stories to the table: her parents died in a car wreck, his girlfriend, Cara, drowned. Of course Blake would understand what she’s gone through. And of course they can help each other work through the pain. It’s like it was meant to be.
But just as Anne starts to feel she’s finally found something good in all the tragedy, she can’t ignore signs that something’s off. Her friends rarely let her be alone with Blake. Even those closest to Blake seem uneasy around him. And then there are the rumors about the death of Cara, whose body was never recovered. Rumors that suggest Blake’s pain is hiding something darker than Anne can even begin to comprehend . . .
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**
“Tragedy Girl” by Christine Hurley Deriso delivered such a breath of fresh air to me with it’s compelling characeters, gripping storyline, and ease of reading. While I wouldn’t call this book light-hearted, I would definitely consider it an easy read. Meaning I was so into the story that I didn’t have to force myself to read it. I wanted to read. I finished this book in just over a day, and with an incredibly busy schedule, that is impressive lately.
This novel follows Anne, an incredibly smart senior who has just moved to a new beachside town to live with her aunt and uncle after the tragic passing of her parents. She makes some new friends and meets Blake, a super nice guy that seems to understand her feelings because he also is going through his own tragedy. But it seems he hides secrets far deeper than anyone originally imagined.
Anne’s character reminds me of myself in high school. I had friends, but I hated the drama. She finds herself wrapped up in it, but keeps wondering why she is allowing it because that is definitely not her. She hates to talk about her feelings but when she does she finds it to be cathartic and actually very, very helpful at times to help understand her own feelings. I also love how each of the friends she makes ends up filling a specific role in her life. One is very cheerful and positive. Always wanting to go and do things, discuss things, look into mysterious things. The other, not really sure we’d even call her a friend (Lauren), is more the reality check. Keeps Anne grounded I think. I don’t even think we realize this much throughout the book but after reading, that is my take on her. Every character fills a role that helps Anne figure out who and what she is going to do with her life post tragedy and in her current state.
I was a little stumped by the naivety of Anne, though, when it came to how much she trusted some characters. Now I get teenage love and friendships can put blinders on you, but this was a bit extreme. I had red flags flying on behavior from the get go. I’d have been back peddling had this been me, but these kids got themselves in WAY too deep, WAY to fast. So I wish that part was a bit more… believable. But I will say it added a bit of anxiety and suspense to the story because I felt myself wanting to scream at the book and tell the characters what they should be doing and not what they were doing.
Deriso’s writing style is good. I like the simplicity of it, but secretly love how there were, what I would like to call, S.A.T. words thrown in. I also really liked how the characters maturity levels and intelligence levels were portrayed through the use of the words they spoke with. I’m not sure if that was the purpose, but I felt certain characters always spoke a little more mature than others. Maybe it’s just my inner nerd coming out. Either way I loved it. A great read for a day at the beach (maybe not!!!) or a rainy day. Deriso definitely kept me hooked from the first chapter to the very end with twists and turns, highs and lows, love and tragedy. Definitely recommended. Four stars!
“Tragedy Girl” is available now! You can pick it up, and I encourage it, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Also add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave your feedback for the author when you are finished reading. You can check out author, Christine Hurley Deriso, online at her site here!