Book: NEARLY GONE by Elle Cosimano
Genre: YA thriller
Series: Nearly series book 1.
USA Release Date: Currently available.
Source: Won this in a giveaway from The Hanging Garden.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Recommended?: Yes, particularly if you love smart, flawed girls, math and science riddles, and serial killer stories. It's a wonderful book with amazing characters, and I can't wait for the next in the series.
Bones meets Fringe in a big, dark, scary, brilliantly-plotted urban thriller that will leave you guessing until the very end
Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother's job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone's skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school--a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.
Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn't figure it all out soon--she'll be next.
I loved this book. I had no idea people were calling it Bones meets Fringe when I read it, but that comparison really captures how I feel about NEARLY GONE. I love Bones, I love Fringe, and the combination here is fun and absolutely entertaining.
Nearly Boswell is a delight. Yes, there's some idiot ball holding, or rather, she rushes headfirst into situations without giving it enough thought, but that worked for me. She's book smart, she's driven, and she's lonely; it makes sense to me that she's tempestuous and headstrong and a little bit naive about her invincibility. Not a superhero invincibility, but the way some teenagers can feel untouchable, even when they've already experienced pain and loss. Nearly chases a missing father, obsesses over cryptic clues in personal ads, and feels lost as she makes her way through high school, but she is wonderful, flawed and smart and strong, and I loved reading her story.
If anything, I wanted more of Nearly, especially her ability to taste emotions when she brushes against skin. That little fringe science twist to her abilities intrigued me, and I would love to see her use of that developed further. (Since there is a sequel, I hold out hope.)
The only thing that fell a little flat for me was the romance with Reece, the reformed bad boy working undercover. Something about the dynamic between them felt unbalanced, probably that whole undercover thing, though I did love the other people working with him. I hope I grow to like Reece more in the next book, because my guess is that he'll continue to be her love interest.
I loved the way Cosimano wove the clues through the personal ads, mixing science and math and riddles in wonderful ways. Between the clues and Nearly herself, I was sucked into this book, and could not put it down until I'd devoured it all. Seriously cannot wait for the next book, and Cosimano is going on my auto-buy author list.
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