Friday, May 20, 2011

Review: So Much Pretty

Title: So Much Pretty

Author: Cara Hoffman

Genre: Murder/Mystery

When she disappeared from her rural hometown, Wendy White was a sweet, family-oriented girl, a late bloomer who’d recently moved out on her own, with her first real boyfriend and a job waiting tables at the local tavern. It happens all the time—a woman goes missing, a family mourns, and the case remains unsolved. Stacy Flynn is a reporter looking for her big break. She moved east from Cleveland, a city known for its violent crime, but that’s the last thing she expected to cover in Haeden. This small, upstate New York town counts a dairy farm as its main employer and is home to families who’ve set down roots and never left—people who don’t take kindly to outsiders. Flynn is researching the environmental impact of the dairy, and the way money flows outward like the chemical runoff, eventually poisoning those who live at the edges of its reach.

Five months after she disappeared, Wendy’s body is found in a ditch just off one of Haeden’s main roads. Suddenly, Flynn has a big story, but no one wants to talk to her. No one seems to think that Wendy’s killer could still be among them. A drifter, they say. Someone “not from here.”

Fifteen-year-old Alice Piper is an imaginative student with a genius IQ and strong ideals. The precocious, confident girl has stood out in Haeden since the day her eccentric hippie parents moved there from New York City, seeking a better life for their only child. When Alice reads Flynn’s passionate article in the Haeden Free Press about violence against women—about the staggering number of women who are killed each day by people they know—she begins to connect the dots of Wendy’s disappearance and death, leading her to make a choice: join the rest in turning a blind eye, or risk getting involved. As Flynn and Alice separately observe the locals’ failure to acknowledge a murderer in their midst, Alice’s fate is forever entwined with Wendy’s when a second crime rocks the town to its core.- Goodreads

Thank you, Goodreads' Giveaways/First-reads for this book! :)
I received this book for free on Goodreads after winning it in a giveaway hosted by the publisher. This doesn't affect my opinion whatsoever and my reviews are always completely honest.

Immediately from the start, the reader is pulled into a murder-mystery with twists and turns around every corner. Admittedly, it was a bit hard for me to get into this book at first due to all the different character views and time jumps. I think it would have read much smoother by staying in only one or two character views at most, and in one timeframe only- until the "time jump" was just absolutely necessary every once in awhile. They occurred much too often for my liking, and it could get a bit confusing at times. So, you do have to pay close attention.

I did quite like the insertion of evidence. The details and narration were engaging and well-plotted. Yes, it built a bit slowly at first, but once I got into it, it was really hard to put down!

Just a warning: There's a lot of foul language in this one. It seemed like every other page dropped the F-bomb. And while I'm probably guilty myself of dropping that word more than I should outloud myself, I didn't really find it necessary to use it so much in this book. I think the story could have been just as gripping and entertaining if the language had been "censored" just a tiny bit. However, I'm also all about supporting free speech and creativity. So, I'm a bit on the fenceline with that. This one is more about your own reading tastes, I guess. If you get offended by that type of language, or it bothers you when you reading a book with that much cursing, then I wouldn't recommend reading this one. If not, then I'd recommend it. :) It was an enjoyable read, nonetheless, that held me on edge with the mystery and emotions.

Compelling, violent, and horrifying.

3 stars.


~The Bookaholic

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