Series: Prep School Confidential, #3
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, YA
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~
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