By: Larissa | July 23, 2014 | (18) Comments

Review: Deadly Little Sins by Kara TaylorDeadly Little Sins by Kara Taylor
Series: Prep School Confidential, #3
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, YA
Pages: 288
Source: Received in exchange for review
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It’s August and Anne is back in New York City for the summer, but she can’t escape the memories of the terrible things that happened at the Wheatley School last spring— and the possibility of being expelled looming over her. When an unexpected— and suspicious— turn of events gets Anne sent back to Wheatley, she’s determined to figure out what happened to her favorite teacher and only adult ally at the school: Ms. Cross.After a shocking, gruesome murder with connections to the Wheatley School occurs, Anne is convinced there’s more to Ms. Cross’s sudden disappearance, and that her favorite teacher is in danger. But after an ugly breakup with Brent and a new, inexplicable distance between her and Anthony, Anne isn’t sure who she can trust. And even worse, someone at Wheatley knows the truth about what happened to Ms. Cross— someone who will stop at nothing to keep Anne from learning the truth in this engrossing, unputdownable read.

Before I delve into Deadly Little Sins  specifically, I’d like to address this series as a whole. Overall the Prep School Confidential series has been such a lovely surprise. It’s truly so much fun, with Anne’s dry humor narrating her life at Wheatley and the complex mysteries she discovers there.  There’s something about Taylor’s writing that will have you flipping pages at a ferocious speed, you’ll be hooked from the very beginning to the end.  I would recommend this series to anybody looking for a fun mystery novels.

Okay, now onto Deadly Little Sins  in particular.

My ex-boyfriend is barely speaking to me because I accused his father of being involved in a murder, and I just slapped the guy I was involved with in the face.

Romance, clearly I’m doing it right.

That funny  and dry comment was said by no other than Anne, the main character and narrator of the Prep School Confidential series. I believe a huge amount of why I read and enjoy this series so much is do to Anne. She’s a highly resourceful heroine, who cares about her friends and has a brilliant snarky attitude. In Deadly Little Sins  Anne’s narration continues to be quite entertaining, with her realistic and honest observations about the world and her life. She also proves herself to be quite capable in this series and specifically  Deadly Little Sins. There were some tough situations in this one, and reading about Anne navigating these challenges and conquering them when things seem the most bleak was quite brilliant. I would also say that Anne has gone through a lot of natural character growth since the first novel. She seems to be a lot more confident in her beliefs.

The mystery in this one was the most unpredictable out of the three stories in my own view. I found myself guessing wrongly about the murderer throughout the book, and being fooled by the well hidden red herrings. I also found the mystery in  Deadly Little Sins  to be the most interesting as the main character did have a personal connection to it. It made the whole mystery have a lot more suspense and made it feel more dangerous. The conclusion for the mystery definitely threw me for a loop, and now looking back I can see those interconnecting details which makes the murderer make sense. The motives for the crime also seem to be realistic and make sense. This person isn’t just murdering for the sake of it, there’s some serious dark underlying issues.

What I enjoyed about this series was how there was generally a balance between Anne’s school life/friends/family/side characters and her mystery. However I feel as if the mystery really took full force in this one. This really didn’t make sense given the context of the story. In the beginning you see Anne suffer with her fears of being expelled. Then she continues to drive full force into this mystery, seemingly forgetting about her school work, and gets into a TON of situations where expulsion would definitely be a possible consequence. You’d also think that now that Anne has been personally in extreme danger due to pursuing a mystery, that she wouldn’t be as willing to jump into this one/be more willing to talk to the police about it. However, Anne still flings herself full throttle into this case without telling anybody (even the police or her friends when it’d be helpful) resulting in a lot more lies and dangerous situations that could have been avoided.  Really, I feel as if there could have been a much better balance between the mystery vs. Anne’s school/social/family life. The mystery overpowered all other aspects of her life, which obviously couldn’t be healthy

Another issue I had with Deadly Little Sins  was how there would be characters that were mentioned once or twice, then forgotten for the rest of the story. For example you get introduced to this new freshman, she does something for Anne. After that she’s never seen again, or even mentioned. To me this screams plot device and that frankly annoys me. Surely there can be some way that you can further the plot without introducing new characters only to have them disappear. Another character was introduced to Anne and actually had a massive confrontation with Anne. Nothing came out of it, and the character figuratively turned to dust. Beginning to notice a pattern? I could count at lease 3 minor characters that this happened to.

It also happened to one of the love interests. Literally, Anne probably had only two conversations with this love interest in the whole novel. He then was never mentioned again. Though I’m glad that Anne is no longer wishy washy regarding which love interest to choose (there was a love triangle in previous novels), her lack of feelings towards one of them felt  sudden. It also made the drama in previous novels seem even more pointless. I mean if Anne could clearly choose her feelings, why didn’t she do so in the first book? It seemed like the easy way out after all of the fuss. The love interest that was mentioned seemed to the one Anne chose, though even he wasn’t involved in the story that much. I feel like in order for Anne to make a educated choice she would have to spend more time with both of the love interests in this story.

Overall I would say that though Deadly Little Sins  had a few issues (and really my least favorite of the series, I found myself enjoying the story and would say it was a good addition to the series..

 ~Thank you St.Martin’s Griffin for the review copy~

3 Stars
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Larissa was born and still is living in the land of ice, snow and maple syrup. She's 18 years old and really has no idea what to do with her life lately. Larissa's plans are constantly changing--though there’s one thing has remained constant throughout her seventeen years, and that’s reading. It takes her to another world and puts her into impossible situations and that’s why she loves it so much.

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18 Responses to Review: Deadly Little Sins by Kara Taylor

  1. Haven’t read these books yet! =) I’ll add them to my tbr though.
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #57: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay KristoffMy Profile

  2. I read another series to do with murder and spies and mysteries, Gallagher Girls and because of that I’ve been considering other books and series that seem similar and this is one I had been looking at Larissa. I don’t know if the sounds of things sounds a little too immature for me, but I guess I’ll never know if I don’t consider it properly, so thank you for the review, no spoilery and just right 🙂
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Book Review – ScarletMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah I actually don’t find these ones too immature, they’re times of immaturity but also seriousness. I think you’d enjoy them! I actually haven’t read the Gallagher Girls series, but will be doing so now. Thank you Amanda! (: I always try hard to avoid spoilers when reviewing a story in a series, glad to see I did it well.

  3. The random disappearing characters would be a bit annoying, but it sounds like a fun series overall. Love characters with snark and humor.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Bunbury and Buckle Up: The Vendors!My Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah it brought down the story in my view. Overall I did enjoy the series though, with the first installment being my favorite. I also love humorous characters, they can bring light to otherwise dark times.

  4. Only skimmed since I haven’t started this series yet. ^_^ (But I plan to!)

    This series definitely sounds fun. I love easy reads that keep you reading from the first to the last sentence. I’m actually not so sure about that quote. Dry humor tends to be… well, dry, haha! I’m definitely in need of some unpredictable reads, though. And a heroine with a balanced life? Interesting. I’m scared about the disregarded characters, though! >_< Lovely review, Larissa!
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…How Negative Reviews Really Affect My TBRMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      You should give it a try Aimee, it’s perfect for summer (:

      It’s so much fun! They’re certainly compulsive, read this one in a day. Lol, I love sarcasm and dry humor so it works for me. The heroine previously had a balanced life lol, not so much in this one. In Deadly Little Sins she basically tosses everything aside for the mystery. Ugh, the disregarded characters drove me insane just because they felt so much like mechanical plot devices.

      Thanks Aimee! (:

  5. Megan says:

    I haven’t tried this series yet. It sounds good, although it’s too bad this one was your least favourite so far.
    Megan recently posted…Review + Giveaway (US/CAN): Wanted: Dead or in LoveMy Profile

  6. Siiri says:

    Hellllllo, lovely! I’m glad you’re having fun with this series :)Haha! I love dry humor and this quote is so awesome 😀 Yeah? You liked the mystery? I’m glad for that! I always love it when mystery books do their job and you keep guessing and guessing and are still left surprised. Eh, I’d love to get some secondaries out of all the mentionings O.o Hmm. YAYYYYYYYYYYY SHE HAS FOUND HER SOULMATE LOL. Haha. I’m glad you enjoyed this one overall even though you had issues 🙂 Lovely review, as always, Larissa!
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    • Larissa says:

      Hey Siiri! Always love seeing you around (: Dry humor and sarcasm is brilliant to read in a story that would otherwise be serious. I really do love mysteries, I just love the suspense and wondering (mainly making wrong deductions in my case) about how things will end up. Yeah, like I understand why you may not mention a minor character as much. But a previous love interest?? Now that just doesn’t make sense to me.

      Thank you Siiri (:

  7. Lexa Cain says:

    This series sounds like a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed reading your review!
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  8. Larissa says:

    It’s truly a fun ride from beginning to end. Thank you Lexa (:

  9. Tanja says:

    I haven’t heard of this one but it sounds really interesting. I must say, though, that I think I’ll go with other books in the Prep School Confidential series rather than this one, I mean this one sounds good and I like it when a book is unpredictable, but others seem more fun. 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed this one. Great review, Larisaa 🙂
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    • Larissa says:

      Yeah I would totally understand that decision c: The other two ones were certainly more light and more balanced out in eyes. The other ones were pretty unpredictable too so you wouldn’t be missing out on that element. Thanks Tanja! (:

  10. Melanie says:

    YES THIS REVIEW. Sums up my feelings for this book completely–the book is probably my least favourite because like you said, the characters felt like props to Anne. They just show up when they are needed and disappear like they never existed the next. Yes, I love the balance of myster, family and romance.

    Fabulous review, girly! <33

  11. Kelly says:

    I love a bit of humour throughout books, when they’re all too serious they tend to drone on a bit. The series sounds pretty good, but this one let you down a little. That’s odd, not sure why the author would bother with new characters and basically do nothing with them. Just background props I suppose. I wanna give the series a try now. Fantastic review, loved it <3
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