Friday, March 27, 2015

Teen review: Mystery/thriller

Bet Your Life
by Jane Casey
336 pages
Part of a series (Jess Tennant #2)
Recommended for 8th grade and above

Reviewed by Patrick Castro, grade 11

Bet Your Life, by Jane Casey, was such an unexpected book for me. I thought it would be kinda boring, but finishing it I loved the book a lot more! It was a great mystery novel with a kick-ass heroine, suspense, and lies. And it turned out to be a part of a series, which I did not know until writing this review, so I'll probably check out the first book now.

In Bet Your Life, we meet Jess Tennant, whose life is turned upside down when a boy, Seb Dawson, suffers a head injury. The police take things into their own hands, but Jess decides to investigate it. I actually really got down who the characters are and who Jess is. Casey did a great job recapping the reader things from the first book, so anyone could pick up the book and easily distinguish the characters and plot. Jess was such a perfect protagonist for the story. I was able to relate to her, and you could easily see yourself in her situation. She gave the book a voice, and I found myself turning the pages faster to see how she would get herself out of a situation or get into a fight. Casey crafted great characters like Hugo, Ella, and Jess, and I liked them a lot.

The book did not really have a scary, creepy feel, but more of a thriller and suspenseful feel. I do wish that Casey had added more creepy, eerie elements, but the book still came out strong. In addition, I also liked that the book did touch a bit on romance, but it did not completely overwhelm the book.

Bet Your Life was a great book that people should pick up if they're looking for a thriller kind of read.

Editor's note: Burbank Public Library doesn't own this book, nor the first one, How to Fall. But based on Patrick's review and the need for more mystery/thriller books in our collection, we're going to purchase them both.

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