“With Malice” Eileen Cook

Rated 4 stars **** ARC. Ebook. To be published June 7, 2016. HMH Books for Young Readers.

WithMaliceJill and Simone have been best friends since fourth grade even though they’re complete opposites. Simone is a cheerleader, likes to flirt with boys, drink and party while Jill enjoys blogging about world events, studying, and making sure her GPA stays at 4.0. With graduation approaching, Jill has already been accepted to Yale while Simone doesn’t yet have plans for her future.

When both girls go on a school trip to Italy, Simone is killed in a car accident and Jill is accused of her murder. Airlifted back to the United States with amnesia, broken bones and extended rehab, Jill struggles to regain her memory. She is desperate to find out what really happened before she gets sent back to Italy to face murder charges. When readers finally find out what happened that fateful day, they will be shocked. I know I was, and actually gasped out loud. Kudos to Cook for that!

Cook does a great job stringing readers along, slowly providing the back-story of Simone and Jill’s lives through teacher, family and friend interviews provided to U.S. and Italian detectives. Despite the interesting storyline, I only gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 because I had a problem with the descriptions of Italian cities and places to visit, taken from travel guidebooks. I didn’t think they were necessary to Simone and Jill’s lives, and the story Cook was unraveling about them.

Recommended for readers ages 14 and older.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

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