Wherever Nina Lies, by Lynn Weingarten (Kim’s Take)

Kelly reviewed this book over the weekend, so I won’t rehash the plot too much. Ellie sets off on a road trip with her new crush, the only person who believes they can find her sister Nina who disappeared two years ago. Check out Kelly’s review for a more detailed synopsis.

Wherever Nina Lies, by Lynn Weingarten, is a mix of road trip book, romance, and mystery/thriller, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I admit that I judge a book by its cover, and I am not sure the cover of this one really portrays it accurately. Despite the blurb on the back of the book, the cover led me to expect something very girly and very fluffy (all that pink, and the soft image of the cover model). While the target audience is definitely female, and there are some fluffy aspects, it is a much weightier book than I initially anticipated.

The pacing is perfect. The mystery unfolds at just the right speed, imparting just the right amount of creepiness and growing unease. The climax of the book proves it to be a real thriller, and I could not put it down – I read it while walking around my house and even pulled it out once while I was stopped at a red light. While I read, I was reminded a lot of Wish You Were Dead, by Todd Strasser, another excellent teen thriller I read a few months ago.

One of the aspects I most enjoyed about the book were the drawings sprinkled throughout. Nina was an aspiring artist, and her drawings provide clues to her disappearance. They’re not phenomenal drawings – they look like they were drawn by an 18 year old girl, which is a good thing. One of the strongest features of the book is that it includes so many different elements (the drawings, the road trip, the romance, the mystery) without seeming hodge-podge and disjointed.

It’s not a perfect book. Sometimes characterization is sacrificed for plot, and full enjoyment requires the reader to very willingly suspend her disbelief – but fans of the mystery/thriller genre are practiced at putting their incredulity on the back burner for awhile. Wherever Nina Lies is a real page turner, and reading it was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

Check back tomorrow – we’ll be giving away THREE copies of the paperback book to three lucky winners.
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