Title: 14 Ways to Die
Author: Vincent Ralph
Publication: June 1, 2021
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Teens & Ya Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
Ten years ago, Jess’s mother was murdered by the Magpie Man.
She was the first of his victims but not the last.
Now Jess is the star of a YouTube reality series and she’s using it to catch the killer once and for all.
The whole world is watching her every move.
And so is the Magpie Man.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Right away I was caught by the title of this book. 14 Ways to Die by Vincent Ralph hooked me instantly. I needed to know more.
The story follows Jess, daughter of the first victim of the serial killer The Magpie Man. Since then the killer has claimed 12 more victims, with a total of 13. Jess wants to find him. So she signs up for a YouTube series where cameras follow her as she tries to get more attention to the case that remains unsolved. Little does she know that her mission to draw attention to his the case will draw him out and may just put everyone in danger.
Right off the bat I love Jess. Even though she is obviously dark and withdrawn into herself because of the death of her mother so long before, she has this inner fire that you instantly can sense by her personality and behavior. She knows what she wants and she knows its likely going to hurt to get it, but she wants to do it anyway. I love the way Vincent Ralph wrote this story. It’s like we are with Jess the whole time in her head, but I also feel like the people behind the screens watching on their phones and computers on the days she is being recorded. It really gives you a sense of how others felt too. There were many times I wanted to reach into the story and shake her and yell, “Do you have no sense of self-preservation?”
I also feel like the side characters really were a game changer in this book. A lot of times the stories are not really tied in with a lot of the supporting characters, but 14 Ways to Die definitely was. I loved the fun, crime fighting neighbor boy who may or may not have won my heart from the beginning. I’d totally be watching out for my neighbors too. I loved the best friends. I even loved Bernie, which is saying a lot because she is kind of mean. These characters told a story of Jess at the same time as they were helping along with the storyline. They showed different sides of her personality and empathy and cut through some of the seriousness that was this plot line.
I think Vincent Ralph handles the topic of grief really well, which is a big topic in this book. He showcases how different people deal with grief. We have Jess, who lives her life, but also doesn’t. She’s hiding in plain sight. Then you have her dad who has holed up and isn’t living much at all. You have the aunt who is doing everything she can to keep the family together. You have other characters dealing with grief by acting out, attempting suicide, and a lot of other little ways as well. I really feel like Ralph got to the bottom of grief in the quickest sense and showcased how the same event can affect people differently. Really well done.
I have absolutely nothing negative to say about this book. I loved it. I cannot wait to go read more from Vincent Ralph. I hope he writes his next book soon because I will absolutely be buying it. The lover of all things thriller and suspense should pick this up, age be forgotten! I’m a forever fan now.
STAR RATING: 5/5
Pick up your copy of 14 Ways To Die by Vincent Ralph on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or check your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. You can check out more from author Vincent Ralph on Amazon HERE.