Another spooky, romantic, and thrilling YA mystery from Ginny Myers Sain!

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kitcatgirl2006 Avatar


Don't fear the reaper...

Tru doesn't know what that message means when she finds it...but with the unsolved mysteries and murders in Mount Orange's past, she KNOWS it can't be good. Aside from losing her sister tragically years ago, Tru has also been saddened and fascinated by the unsolved murders of two teen girls, Bailey and Celeste, and would LOVE to use the resources at her newspaper job to dig down deep into the cold cases...because there's something inside her that tells her that SHE is meant to find the truth...but why?

Tru is also hiding a secret from her longtime boyfriend and family...not only does she not plan to go to college with him at FSU in the fall...she's not even sure if this 'perfect' relationship feels right to her anymore. Her one solace is diving, and Tru spends a LOT of her time exploring the deep and looking for answers at the bottom of the water. Enter Rio, a fascinating, beautiful, and mysterious fellow diver, who appears seemingly out of nowhere...and forms an INSTANT bond with Tru.

As the two become fast friends, their feelings start to spill into uncharted territory...and Rio reveals that she too feels a pull towards the Bailey and Celeste murders. The girls almost feel as though they were CALLED to this dark exploration...and when they start to reveal facts that only Bailey and Celeste could have known, and an indescribable feeling that they've known each other for many years in a very intimate way...the pieces seem to slowly be coming together. But when they find the aforementioned "Don't fear the reaper" note tacked to their tent one night, and hear terrifying sounds in the woods that same seems like the girls have stumbled upon dangerous information...information SOMEONE would kill to keep hidden. Can Tru and Rio uncover the secret of Bailey and Celeste's demise... before they get PERMANENTLY swallowed by the deep?

There is something so theatrical and yet accessible about Ginny Myers Sain's books, and with this one as my third read of hers, I've come to expect certain qualities when 'diving' into her stories. 😉 There will be murder, intrigue, the tortured push and pull of teenage friendships (and love stories!), and an atmosphere that ALWAYS leaps off the page...and thrusts me headlong into somewhere completely unexpected...and of COURSE, also very creepy! This time, we land in sunny Florida, and there is certainly enough detail here to bring to mind the almost oppressive humidity found only in the Sunshine State. In this one, Tru and Rio (no coincidence that this is her name, I'm sure! 🌊) also spend a great deal of time on dives and underwater, and these passages also brought the dark and terrifying nature of the Deep to life...and had me holding MY breath each time they went down!

Although I enjoyed these two main characters enough, I have to say in this one...I almost felt like TOO many of the 'townsfolk' had been invited to the party. Lots of the characters also have very odd or uncommon names (Derry, for example...and don't get me started on John Boy! 😣) I know we needed a SOMEWHAT larger cast to provide 'suspects' and give some depth to the plot itself, but unlike some of Myers Sain's previous books, this time I felt VERY much like I was reading teenagers...who were acting a LOT like teenagers. Of course, this is fine: this book IS YA, after all. But with so much emphasis on smoking, uh, 'alternative substances', and of course the burgeoning romances (or eroding romances) between several of the characters, it felt like there was almost too much going on at times...and yet, not the sort of events and feelings I WANTED to learn more about as we went along.

And then there's of course the paranormal element that is always present in Myers Sain's books, and it WAS present here...but in a muted, downplayed way. Part of this was I think intended to keep the reader guessing (and it absolutely worked!) but I have to admit after lots of buildup and the ENTIRELY unfair and tragic death of one character that I truly liked 😢 the denouement felt like a bit of a letdown and steered sharply away from the groundwork that Myers Sain had laid and the trail of breadcrumbs I had been following...and it's hard to say that I wasn't slightly disappointed. There is also a pretty heavy emphasis on the relationship (?) or not between Rio and Tru, so if you aren't into a bit of romance in your thrillers, I would steer clear.

And as to whether Tru can 'tru-ly' trust Rio?

It'll be up to YOU to revisit these lyrics after reading and see if they turn out to be true!

Love of two is one
Here but now they're gone
Came the last night of sadness
And it was clear she couldn't go on



4 stars, rounded up from 3.5