The Amateurs by Sara Shepard | Rating: ★★★★☆
Raise your hand if you're utterly addicted to anything that Sara Shepard writes! ME! That's me. I'm a self-proclaimed uber fan of Sara Shepard's work and probably always will be. She is one of the few authors that I've carried over from my teenage years (has it REALLY been ten years since PLL was first published?!) and still frequently return to. There's something so devilishly feel-good about her indulgent mysteries. From Pretty Little Liars to The Lying Game and everywhere in between, Shepard dominates her genre and has continued to show us her story telling skills.
The Amateurs is no different and may be her best release in recent years. Fans who found themselves disappointed in The Perfectionists will find their Queen of Stylish Suspense once more with this delightful young adult mystery that reminds us why she's been a bestselling author for so long. I think we all know by now that nothing is ever what it seems in Shepard's books and The Amateurs will slap you down with a huge plot twist, I promise you: your head will be spinning.
I love that the pace was really solid: quick but not too quick, the relationships were set up perfectly. And the typical Sara Shepard signature "I've got you now, don't I?" because, let's face it. It's Sara Shepard's world and we're just living in it.
Without spoilers, I have to stress this to you. The Amateurs is an addictive mystery full of thrills so high, you won't be able to put it down (or come down) until its final pages and then you're going to scream a little because you have to wait. For all that I loved The Perfectionists, this one felt more like the Sara Shepard I grew up reading and I was hooked from the very first chapter, not unlike how I felt reading PLL or TLG for the first time.
Overall, this is the book of the autumn. Sure to be at the top of every teens to-buy list come the holidays. Young adult mystery at its finest--the story comes to life before your eyes and as the mystery unfolds, you can't help but wonder how you didn't see it from the start.