Publisher: Berkley Trade
ISBN - 10: 042521950X
ISBN - 13: 978-0425219508
According to the Blurb
"At first it felt good to be wanted by the Zeta Sisters.
After a senior year that involved slashed tires and kidnapping, I thought, Aspen Brooks, how can it get any worse? I swear on my Juicy Couture, it can. It seemed like the pinch-me-I'm-dreaming deal of the decade - Detective Harry Malone paying my tuition (after Mom blew my college fund on her shopping addiction). I got into the most famous sorority on campus. And my hottie bf, Rand, is at the same school!
Then it got creepy...
Joining the Zetas wasn't just a social stepping-stone for me, though. Harry's niece Mitzi was a member, and she's disappeared - he suspects foul play. Judging by the secrets my sisters hide beneath their cotton-candy pink exteriors, I have to agree, and I want to find out the real scoop. Meanwhile, I'm not seeing much of Rand... but I'm seeing way too much of his rich roommate, who has fallen hopelessly and psychotically in love with me. Not everyone appreciates my fabulous presence. Even some people who call themselves my "sisters" could be out to make me disappear too..."
I almost did not give this book a chance. Reading a lot of Mary Higgins-Clark, John Grisham, and others, I was accustomed to the action-packed-keep-you-guessing-killer-totally-from-out-of-left-field types of premise that I was totally bummed out reading this one.
I felt that the author was trying too hard to make Aspen sound cool but to me, it just fell flat. She did not sound cool, she sounded trying hard to be cool. Her confident awareness of herself did not come out like that, it came out very vain, conceited, and self-centered, the only thing holding her together her compulsive sleuthing. You may point out to me that she's actually very selfless to put herself in danger's way for her friends but that's just it. Her personality does not tie up. Or maybe I just think this way because I've decided I'm not going to like this book.
And another thing: the mystery part. I solved this one after a few chapters, and it did not really require much thinking. I hope that the author deliberately did this to make sure the readers knew whodunit first, because if she intended it to become the climax of the story, it's not really the best work.
But okay, kind-of-lame mystery and conceited main character aside, I love how the author worked on her characters to make them seem real except for Aspen, whom I struggled to like but just can't. Most of the characters are likable and interesting, as well as their dialogue. The author paints a vivid picture of the scenes and each character's personality that it's not difficult to get into the story. Maybe reading too much hard-core murder mysteries muddled my brain enough to have a lot of expectations for this story, and if one were to look at this book without that expectation, one would probably think this story is very creative, judging from the mostly positive reviews of this book.
I picked up this book because of the blurb and I thought, "Wow there's a mystery!" And maybe that set off too much expectations that I was expecting but this book was not ready to give. As I was thinking of putting this book down and never finishing it, another voice told me to give it another chance, look at it as how an average teenager would look at it: Aspen Brooks is every girl's dream of becoming when she grows up: capable, cool, fashionable, and smart. And so I did, but even though I still see her as shallow, I did understand how teenagers would look at her differently.
So maybe not the best mystery book to read in my opinion, but something light but exciting enough while passing the time or waiting for another hardcore mystery book to get released.