Ok kidlets and lambwhores- I have a good book for you, yes I do. When I saw this come up as a book tour option I jumped on it right away because I have heard a lot of good things about it and about the author, Jennifer McMahon.
Promise Not To Tell by Jennifer McMahon
Forty-one-year-old school nurse Kate Cypher has returned home to rural Vermont to care for her mother who’s afflicted with Alzheimer’s. On the night she arrives, a young girl is murdered—a horrific crime that eerily mirrors another from Kate’s childhood. Three decades earlier, her dirt-poor friend Del—shunned and derided by classmates as “Potato Girl”—was brutally slain. Del’s killer was never found, while the victim has since achieved immortality in local legends and ghost stories. Now, as this new murder investigation draws Kate irresistibly in, her past and present collide in terrifying, unexpected ways. Because nothing is quite what it seems . . . and the grim specters of her youth are far from forgotten.
Now. Right off the bat I will tell you this is a murder mystery that you have no idea how or where it will end up. Clocking in at 250 pages total Jennifer does a fantastic job at getting a story to you with so much depth, so many things to think about, the suspense of a good mystery and overall enjoyment of a book done in so few pages.
If you want an example of bullying gone wrong this is for you. If you want a story about the resilience of children this book is for you. If you want a story about how past choices can lead to a future of regrets and "what ifs" this book is for you. This is probably one of the most interesting books I have read in awhile as far as characters.
Del Griswold, aka Potato Girl, is messed up. Had she lived in the real world she'd probably end up becoming a serial killer prostitute in truck stops. But it isn't towards the end when the pieces of the mystery come together that you realize why she was the way she was and it's sad but you know that in real life, it's probably all too familiar. Kate is like a lot of us, too intimidated to stand up for what is right because usually that means you'll be the recipient of the bad behavior, she's a victim of the mob mentality, but it comes at the cost of the life of her best friend.
Although the material in the book is pretty mature considering you have the murders of young women which are fairly gruesome and the other adult topics throughout.. this is one of those books that I would encourage teenagers to read. I would be really interested in what they thought about it in perspective of their own lives at school. What I really enjoyed about this book was that I could relate to both Del and Kate. I have been in both positions and neither one was a good place to be. It is such a great example of the innocence of children taken away by adults, and how their spirit is damaged by peers, often with a tragic ending.
It's just a really good book and I really encourage you to read it. The book copyright is 2007 so it should be available at your local libraries, but most certainly at any book store. You can see other reviews of this book here or check out the author's website here.