The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line – book review

The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line

The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham is the first book in the new and intriguing Veronica Mars series.

Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars finds herself back in the place of parties, sun, crime, and corruption. She’s traded in her law degree to be a private investigator, struggling o keep Mars Investigations afloat until she gets her first big case. Now it’s spring break, and collage students descend on Neptune, transforming the town into a week-long rave. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called to investigate. But this isn’t just a simple missing person’s case. The house from which the girl vanished belongs to a man with serious criminal ties. Veronica finds herself plunging into the dangerous underworld of drugs and organized crime. As Veronica begins the investigation, she realises the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined.

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I haven’t quite decided whether I liked this book or not yet. There were some good things about it, however it didn’t compel me to keep reading and it didn’t leave me feeling excited to read the next book in the series. I have never heard of Veronica Mars before and maybe that’s why I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have. I felt like the story sort of jumped into the action a little too quickly and it took me a while to understand the characters and their role in the story. Getting to know the characters didn’t come as naturally to me in this book as I would have liked.

Perhaps I just couldn’t get into the writing style. I felt like there were a lot of descriptions on things that weren’t so important in this book and that could be skipped in order to give a bit more information about Veronica and her past. I felt as if I knew more about the characters, I could have felt more connected to them. Maybe it’s my fault for jumping into this book without having a single clue of who Veronica Mars is, but I felt as though some people would be in the same situation as me and could use some more introductions. I only vaguely got the idea of her family situation and her past towards the end of the book and I would have liked a lot more information in the beginning. I was disappointed that I felt like I didn’t know a lot of the characters.

The thing I liked most about this book was the plot. I’m happy with the amount of suspense in this book, particularly towards the end. The beginning started off a little slow for me. I had a little bit of a hard time getting into this book. I guess I haven’t read any books by this author and I don’t read YA crime/mysteries often, so perhaps that’s why. One thing I loved about this book was when Veronica was investigating the crimes by talking to people and asking them questions. I liked this part because I got more of an insight to the story, and without these personal information parts added in, the disappearances of these girls wouldn’t have seemed as important or shocking. I liked learning more about these two girls that had gone missing and found myself trying to guess who was responsible for it.

I loved the twists in this book and I never expected them coming, which was a great surprise. This book wasn’t at all predictable and I thought the ending was satisfying for the story. However, I don’t feel like I’ll be reading the next book in this series just because I wasn’t invested in the storyline enough. Perhaps this type of book just isn’t my thing. However, I’m happy I tried it and now at least I have a little bit of an understanding about Veronica Mars!

Overall, I enjoyed aspects of this book, but I didn’t love it. I’d give The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham a score of 7 out of 10. If you like mysteries and know anything about Veronica Mars, I recommend giving this book a go!

Thank you to Allen & Unwin Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!

Girl, Missing – book review

Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie

Girl, Missing is the intriguing first book in its series, written by Sophie McKenzie.

Lauren has always known she was adopted; however when she gets a school assignment that asks who she is, she realises she doesn’t really know anything about her past. When Lauren does a little research, she begins to think there’s a possibility that she was stolen from an American family as a baby. Suddenly, Lauren’s whole life feels like a lie. Desperate to know the truth, she embarks on a journey to seek out her biological parents. But even more alarming than the fact that she could have been snatched is that her adoptive parents might be responsible for kidnapping her.

I expected to like this book more than I did. In saying that, I didn’t not enjoy it, I just didn’t love it. I had really high expectations going into this book and sadly, I don’t think those expectations were met. I probably shouldn’t have had ridiculously high expectations to begin with, but that’s the problem with checking out some Goodreads reviews before I dived into it. I should know by now to go into a book knowing nothing at all. For the most part, that’s what I do. If you’re considering reading this book, I recommend going into it knowing practically nothing.

The beginning was interesting, and it made me really curious as to what was going to happen. Overall, the plot was pretty good, but I felt that the characters and the way they interacted with each other let it down for the most part. Firstly, these characters are 14. They can be unbelievably dumb for their age at times. I just wanted to hit some sense into them for some of the things they did. I wasn’t that gullible and naïve at 14. And I didn’t like the fact that I felt like Lauren needed Jam to help her do everything. I felt like she was played the ‘damsel in distress’ role a bit too much. Jam always seemed to be saving Lauren. He always seemed like he was the one with some sense.
I didn’t really have a connection with any of the characters. I liked watching the relationship grow between Lauren and Jam, but I didn’t feel as though I would be distraught if something happened to either of them. Lauren really annoyed me at times and I was tempted to scream at her. In public. That’s how mad I got sometimes. I usually liked Jam because he saw both sides of the situation and was fairly level-headed. I know I shouldn’t hold anything against Jam because Lauren was acting like a selfish girl that needed saving occasionally and Jam was the one to do that. With Lauren’s irrational thinking and Jam’s level-headedness, I can understand how they make a good team. They’re just not my favourite characters ever.
There were some really thrilling parts in this book and I loved the story line, but it also seemed a little far-fetched. All the things Lauren and Jam did wouldn’t have really been possible in real life. Normally, I’m all for that in books. But because everything else about this book was made to feel real, these aspects let it down a little. But at the same time, I was really interested in finding out what was going to happen next. This book kept me guessing what was going to happen, and that’s my favourite part about it.
Overall, I would recommend this book for its intriguing story line and not because I loved the characters or thought the plot was terribly realistic. It’s a quick and interesting book to read, but I don’t think I’ll be reading the second book in the series. I like Sophie McKenzie’s other series, Split Second, a lot more. I’d give Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie a score of 7 out of 10. This is probably a book I’d recommend for younger teens.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!