CBR 15 Bingo – Adulthood: This YA book is a coming-of-age story for Roxie and Skylar, who must grapple with the difficult themes of guilt and closure before they can move past a massive tragedy.
A year after Roxie’s sister’s boyfriend is found brutally murdered on the outskirts of town, an unexpected discovery sends Skylar on a frenetic search for the killer, heedless of who might get hurt in the process.
This is a fitting read for spooky season – a family curse? A ghost tour? A body left burned in a cornfield? But when you look beyond these trappings, After Dark with Roxie Clark is really a story about the relationship between siblings: Roxie and Skylar, Tristan and Colin.
I really liked the atmosphere of the story, which is properly Gothic. There’s plenty of eerie moments, and I found myself genuinely feeling that Tristan was unsafe at times (though of course being the love interest, I did not ever really believe he was the villain). And of course the mystery was compelling, yet at the same time the alarm bells kept going off that a solution would not be safe, and indeed the last third of the book moved with the heartless momentum of a Greek tragedy.
However, I did feel like there was some surprisingly foolish investigative decisions made for drama’s sake. Why are some characters instinctively trusted and others not when logic dictates it would be the other way round? Skylar’s immediate focus narrowing on Tristan didn’t make much sense considering the history between them and the lack of motive. The whole story would have wrapped up a lot faster with just a little more clear thinking.
I listened to the audiobook version of this book, which is narrated by Jordan Killam. She chose to interpret Roxie in a surprisingly dreamy manner that I really enjoyed, and I thought she did a good job of showing the characters’ emotions without going overboard.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest and voluntary review.