I’ve read one of J.R. Johansson’s work before: Insomnia. While I ending up enjoying it, I wasn’t a fan of the main character, which caused a lot of problems. I haven’t ruled out continuing that series but I’m not excited for it.
When I saw this cover and blurb though, I was. And it paid off.
You know that wonderful feeling when you just start a book and are instantly in?
That’s what happened. I get giddy just thinking of it.
The Row by J.R. Johansson
Genre: YA Mystery
Release Date: October 11th 2016 FSG/Macmillan
Summary from Goodreads:
Genre: Suspense, Romance, Mystery, Contemporary
Format: Ebook, 352 pgs.
Source: Book Tour
Rating: 4 Stars
CW: Kidnapping, Murder, Drinking, Violence,
A death sentence. A family torn apart. One girl’s hunt for the truth.
Seventeen-year-old Riley Beckett is no stranger to prison. Her father is a convicted serial killer on death row who has always maintained that he was falsely accused. Riley has never missed a single visit with her father. She wholeheartedly believes that he is innocent.
Then, a month before the execution date, Riley’s world is rocked when, inan attempt to help her move on, her father secretly confesses to her that he actually did carry out the murders. He takes it back almost immediately, but she cannot forget what he’s told her. Determined to uncover the truth for her own sake, she discovers something that will forever change everything she’s believed about the family she loves.
|The Good||The Bad & The Other|
|+Thrilling mystery||-Jordan’s instant, persistent quest to help Riley felt fishy – even after the explanation.|
|+Loved Riley’s POV. Her voice comes through strong and clear.||=Liked the ending, but it feels like easy way out. I’d like to know how they’d be if it turned out slightly different…that’d be bolder.|
|+Liked how Riley and Jordan worked and played off each other|
|+Romance is cute.|
|=Liked how it brought up *a few* issues with prisons. (but it’s not about that, it’s passing remarks)|
Note: Jordan and fam are Mexican. The only POC that I recall.
I step into the registration building and marvel at how it smells the same every time.
The Row is really good. It sucked me right in and kept me guessing. When I had to put it down, I kept wondering about it. Then I came back and *whoosh*, it felt like I never left.
The pacing is perfect with the right timing and shifting. The clues all make sense as they come and even better when the final picture is shown. There’s red herrings that aren’t obvious and fit in for the perfect blending.
Riley’s internal conflicts and emotional journey is…oh, boy.
However, generalities about the beginning is as far as I can go without spoiling anything. Which leaves this teeny review feeling pathetic and generic. But I’m not an asshole so….
Let’s talk once you read it.
If that's you're kind of thing, or are curious about the genre, The Row is highly recommended.
About the Author
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