Saturday, March 11, 2023

Missing Clarissa by Ripley Jones Book Review

About the Book:

In August of 1999, dazzlingly popular cheerleader Clarissa Campbell disappears from a party in the woods outside the rural town of Oreville, Washington and is never seen again. The police question her friends, teachers, and the adults who knew her—who all have something to hide. And thanks to Clarissa’s beauty, the mystery captures the attention of the nation. But with no leads and no body, the case soon grows cold. Despite the efforts of internet sleuths and true-crime aficionados, Clarissa is never found—dead or alive.

Over twenty years later, Oreville high-school juniors and best friends Blair and Cameron start a true crime podcast, determined to unravel the story of what—or who—happened to this rural urban legend. In the process they uncover a nest of dirty small-town secrets, the sordid truth of Clarissa’s relationship with her charismatic boyfriend, and a high school art teacher turned small-town figurehead who had a very good reason for wanting Clarissa dead. Such a good reason, in fact, that they might have to make him the highlight of their next episode…

But does an ugly history with a missing girl make him guilty of murder? Or are two teenage girls about to destroy the life of an innocent man—and help the true killer walk free?

My Review:

I know this is a book for youth but this septuagenarian liked it. It is plotted well. I liked the idea of two high school students thinking they could solve a decades old mystery. I liked how they went about the investigation, uncovering previously unknown or overlooked facts. The characters are developed well. Cam seemed to be the typical impetuous teen. While super smart, she can make some serious mistakes. Blair is a good counter to Cam, more calm and thinking things through. And Sophie was a delight. I loved the way she talked.

I don't like it when a heroine does something stupid that generates suspense. While that happens here, Cam is a teen and her actions are quite within her compulsive teen character. One thing I did not like was the emphasis on a budding gay relationship between teens and other similar relationships.

This is a well written novel for teens that adults would like too. I hope we see more mystery solving from Cam and Blair.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Wednesday Books (Macmillan), 256 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher.. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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