Okay, so let me start this by saying that I’ve had this book on my shelf for months and months. I’m a little ashamed of that fact, but I was on a Supernatural (the show) bender and it was reflecting in my reading habits. One Saturday, when I was in the mood for something different I decided I’d finally pick it up–after all I had bought two copies on a splurge so I should probably read one. I originally picked this up, because the synopsis reminded me a lot of Kimberly Derting’s “The Body Finder,” series, which is one of my all-time favorites, so with that in mind I started.
The book follows the character Nearly or Leigh as she mostly goes by as she tries to discover who is murdering students from her school and setting her up to take the fall for it. Throw in a semi-weird power and a hot bad boy and you’ve got a YA suspense novel. The story takes place right outside of D.C.–I’m guessing in Northern, VA– and Cosimano really uses her setting well. I think it’s important for an author to ground their stories in a setting, it makes the world they create seem so much more lifelike when I can picture an actual place.
So here’s what I loved. I loved that Nearly was smart. Like genius level intelligent. You don’t see enough stories about girls who are crazy smart; this made Nearly different. Sure she was still the shy girl with kind of a messed up past, but she was constantly striving to use her brain–it was cool. What I ultimately loved and what really kept me engaged was the fact that I had no freaking clue what was going on with the murder-mystery. This was a true, blue mystery. Then ending was a complete shocker to me. Which brings me to the next thing, the ending. It’s realistic. Sure, Nearly gets some things that she wants, but overall she kind of lucks out. There’s even a fantastic moment of self-awareness when she recognizes that despite saving the day she doesn’t get a pot of gold.
What I didn’t like. So there wasn’t really anything I disliked greatly. I will say that I wish Cosimano had stuck with the original murder plot. There were a few sub-plots based around other characters that made things a bit muddled for my taste. They served a purpose, but I don’t feel like they warranted as much focus as they received.
What made me go hmmm. Nearly’s “ability.” You find out pretty early on that Nearly can feel people’s emotions when she touches them. Naturally, this makes her avoid people like the plague. I get that. The ability itself kind of felt like a throw away. It didn’t really help her solve the case and wasn’t even brought up too often. I felt like an extra that I didn’t really understand. In fact, if her ability would have been her ability to actually grasp the concepts of Chemistry I would have high-fived someone, but the whole touching thing felt empty. I have read that Cosimano is in the midst of a sequel so maybe this will get explained/more play there.
Overall, I really loved the book. I also loved finding out that Cosimano graduated from my alma mater St. Mary’s College of Maryland. That was SUPER exciting. I give this a very solid 7/10. It’s a great read and I’m excited to see what is next.
Because I love finding new books and I really, truly enjoyed this I am running a giveaway where one lucky winner can win a signed-copy of “Nearly Gone.” It’s a great one to add to the collection!! Follow the link below to find out how to win your copy! Unfortunately, this is only open to those in the US.