Girl on Trial
by Kathleen Fine
October 23 - November 17, 2023 Virtual Book Tour
Sixteen-year-old Emily Keller, known by the media as Keller the Killer, is accused of causing the deaths of a family of four, including young children. Emily is one of the youngest females to be accused of a crime so heinous, making this the nation’s biggest trial of the year. But what really happened that fateful night—and who’s responsible—is anything but straightforward.
Living in a trailer park in Baltimore with her twin brother and alcoholic mother, Emily’s life hasn’t been easy. She’s had to grow up fast, and like any teen, has made questionable decisions in a desperate attempt to fit in with her peers. Will her mistakes amount to a guilty verdict and a life in prison? It’s up to the jury to decide.
Praise for Girl on Trial:
"Kathleen Fine has written a compassionate, thought-provoking thriller that will have readers asking themselves big questions about redemption while also turning the pages with breathless anticipation. From her opening pages, Fine grabbed my attention and didn't let go until I closed the book, hardly twenty four hours later. Fine's story reminds us that everyone has a backstory and that the root of empathy involves discovering the particulars of someone else's history with an open heart and mind."
~ Christie Tate, Author of Reese’s Book Club and NYT bestseller GROUP
"In her sharp debut Girl on Trial, Kathleen Fine deftly weaves the past with 16 year-old Emily Keller’s present-day manslaughter trial, allowing readers to put together the puzzle pieces of what really happened the day everyone says Emily killed an entire family. With her vivid characters and a well-developed setting, Fine evokes compassion for people trying their best and reminds us that there’s more to every story than meets the eye. Girl on Trial asks readers to wonder: are we more than our biggest mistake, and does everyone deserve redemption?"
~ Jessie Weaver, author of Live Your Best Lie
"Readers will be on edge as Emily’s decisions lead her to become involved in and vulnerable to dangerous situations… The epilogue brings the roller-coaster ride to a satisfying conclusion…. Gripping, tragic, but ultimately hopeful."
“In Kathleen Fine’s Girl on Trial…interpersonal dynamics are revelatory… reality wars with public perception…a suspenseful thriller in which a maligned teenager is forced to fight for justice.”
~ Foreword Reviews
This novel contains the possibility of many trigger situations with alcoholic parents, teenage alcohol, forced sex, death of children, cutting, to mention a few. It was a tough novel for this adult to read and I would suggest teen readers do so in community, with the support of others.
This novel takes place in a world of young people I wish did not exist. A dysfunctional parent giving her teenager drugs for mood change and alcohol at ten o'clock in the morning, not to mention evidencing indiscriminate sexual encounters. The teenage behavior explored in this novel is sad, such as trying to impress others in public while cutting ones self in private.
The novel is dual time, the current trial and the historic events leading to the trial. The trial aspect of the novel was interesting, especially seeing how teenage guys will lie to preserve a reputation of being a stud. I was a bit disappointed the true historical information was not revealed in step with accusations made by witnesses during the trial, although it did ultimately come out.
This novel is a serious exploration of the results that occur when young people make decisions with a view to increasing their popularity or influence. Fine's writing style is good. The novel just explores difficult and heart breaking subjects.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Genre: YA Contemporary Mystery/Thriller
Published by: CamCat Books
Publication Date: October 2023
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780744306835 (ISBN10: 0744306833)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | Goodreads | CamCat Books
Read an excerpt:
Catch Up With Our Author, Kathleen Fine:
BookBub - @kathleenfineauthor
Instagram - @kathleenfineauthor
Twitter/X - @kathleenfine
Facebook - @fine.kathleen
TikTok - @kathleenfineauthor
Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews and opportunities to WIN!
Click here to view Girl on Trial by Kathleen Fine Tour Hosts.
(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.)