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Monday, March 28, 2016
With Malice by Eileen Cook
Jill and Simone have been best friends since they were little girls. As they grew up, their friendship stayed intact even though the girls couldn't be more different. Now, in their senior year of high school, their paths suddenly diverge in a tragic way...
Jill continued to live with her mother after the divorce. It's not that she doesn't love her father...it's more that she doesn't belong in the new family with the big house and new wife. Jill knows her father supports her, financially, if not emotionally, and she's relying on this for her future. Jill has always been a dedicated student and Ivy League college is waiting for her after graduation.
Simone's life is much different. She doesn't have the financial support to be able to leave after college. And....she hasn't always been the most studious of girls. What Jill has in academics, Simone more than makes up for in popularity. People are naturally attracted to her and because of this, Simone knows how to work a crowd.
One trip changed their lives...
Both girls were excited to go on a study abroad program in Italy sponsored by their school. Now, after the trip, Jill is recovering in a hospital, her memories affected by aphasia. Simone didn't come home. An incident involving both girls only left one alive.
But Jill isn't only plagued by aphasia. She is being investigated by the Italian police in a murder case, where she is the leading suspect in the murder of her best friend. One intentionally wrecked car, one knife, two girls. Jill isn't only surrounded by her family, but also by lawyers and a media team, trying to repair the negative reputation she is getting on social media. Now the Italian police want to extradite her back to Italy to possibly stand trial. Her future is slipping away from her.
Slowly, the investigation begins to open wider and people are coming forward with eyewitness accounts of the girls friendship turning ugly as well the involvement of an Italian with a sketchy background who became involved with both girls. And slowly, Jill is beginning to recall what really happened.
Suspenseful, intriguing, provocative. Cook writes a novel filled with all of these components as well as some very interesting characters. The reader won't know who to trust because of the secrets and lies everyone is telling. Or are they truly lies? That's what so amazing about this book- there are such subtle twists and turns the reader won't know the truth until the very end. And when they get there, they will be stunned. And THAT'S what makes this a great YA read! Highly recommended.