(Hickville High #3)
4.5 – Fantastic Teen Mystery
Published by GPK Publication July 16, 2017
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Pages: Kindle 256
A 30 year old mystery…
A 15 year old sleuth.
Freshman Mackenzie Quinn wants nothing to do with the mysterious death of Cassidy Jones. But when her crush, Braden McGuire, declares he’s determined to uncover the truth, she is drawn into the cold case. The problem is her dad is the number one suspect. Things look pretty hopeless until her best friend, Travis Barns, loans her the secret diary of Cassidy Jones. His only stipulation is that she not share it with anybody else. But when her jealous boyfriend finds and exposes the diary, secrets come to life that could ruin MacKenzie’s whole family.
Can she find a way to clear her father’s name and atone for her own mistakes before it’s too late?
I didn’t expect to love this as much as I do. Hickville Redemption by Mary Karlik is a fun and exciting read. I haven’t read the others in the series and I don’t think you have to in order to read this one. Actually, I think this book is absolutely fantastic as a standalone. I swooned, I laughed, I cried… Those pretty much seals the deal for me.
The story started out a bit slow, but once I got into it, I honestly could not stop reading. There’s plenty of intrigue, drama, mystery and excitement. I love Karlick’s writing style. It’s simple and easy to read, but definitely not lackluster. I could easily picture myself as a character in the story piecing together clues to uncover the truth behind the mysterious death of Cassidy Jones. And I loved it. I thought the mystery part was really interesting – not mind bending holy cow that was super awesome, but pretty darn good. I enjoyed the drama too. It felt realistic and reminded me so much of my high school days.
I immediately fell in love Kenzie. Teenage me and probably a little of the adult me can relate to her in so many ways. She’s an introvert and takes a while to warm up to people. She feels uncomfortable in group settings so she doesn’t talk much – yup totally teenage me and at times adult me too. She prefers to observe and listen rather than participate – yup that is so me. I definitely felt for her and could sympathize with her whenever she was thrown into situations she didn’t want to be in. BUT, even though she’s shy, she doesn’t let that stop her from doing the things she loves. She also doesn’t think that her quiet personality is something that needs to be fixed or that she’s a puzzle that needs to be solved – I loved that about her.
Travis is kind and sweet and absolutely adorable. He’s caring and considerate. I love how protective he is of Kenzie, but still gives her space… he’s just an overall good guy. But I have to mention that while I was reading, he frustrated me a little. Not in the bad way though. In Tagalog there’s a word “gigil” and that’s exactly how I felt. I guess it’s like – oh he’s so cute and I totally understand his reasons for doing or not doing something… heck that’s also the reason why he’s so lovable and really I respect him I do, but at the same time I want to pinch him and push him to act differently then maybe this would happen and that won’t happen and…
And that got me really thinking… I love drama in books. When it makes sense and flows well with the story, then by all means give me! Travis and Kenzie together equals awesome friendship, amazing chemistry, swoony kisses, and crazy drama! I also really LOVED the parts when Kenzie would read Cassidy’s diary. It was heartbreaking, but that definitely made the story more intriguing. The only part that really irks me is the ending… it felt rushed. There was all this build-up so I was expecting something drastic at the end, but it just finished in a not so exciting way.
Overall, I really enjoyed Hickville Redemption and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun YA mystery with an intriguing storyline, relatable characters, realistic drama, and sweet romance.
I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the author and Xpresso Book Tours via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Thanks for reading lovelies!
Sincerely Karen Jo