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Unnatural Deeds Hardcover – November 1, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—The latest from YA novelist Balog, this fast contemporary title takes readers on a dark journey through mental illness and murder. Victoria narrates the story to her best friend and boyfriend Andrew, who is her agoraphobic, homeschooled neighbor of seven years. She wrestles with her guilt, though, after finding herself drawn to new student Z. Secrets and well-placed clues shape the suspenseful plot, which balances Vic's relatable questions about romance with true crime suspense surrounding a missing person. Police reports, interrogations, and newspaper articles about the crime begin each chapter and offer a refreshing change of writing style while foreshadowing the tale's climax. Vic's psychological struggle culminates in an unpredictable, shocking ending that most readers will not see coming. This thriller will stay with readers long after the last page. VERDICT A good choice for teens who are dealing with the loss of a friend. A strong purchase for YA thriller collections.—Seth Herchenbach, McHenry County College, Crystal Lake, IL
"Like a PG-13 version of Gone Girl (2012), Balog's (Dead River, 2013, etc.) latest tells the tense and tragic story of three teens mixed up in a world of murder, obsession, and mental illness... A page-turner that will keep readers riveted, this is a treat for mystery fans and will keep readers guessing right up until the end."
" - Kirkus
"Vic's psychological struggle culminates in an unpredictable, shocking ending that most readers will not see coming. This thriller will stay with readers long after the last page."" - School Library Journal
"The compelling story takes hold, leaving readers guessing until the end. The understated dread builds to a tense
and tragic climax." - Booklist
"Unnatural Deeds is a compelling, dark confessional with pages that keep you guessing and an ending that will blow you sideways.
" - Natalie D. Richards, author of Six Months Later and One Was Lost
"Readers who enjoyed Need by Joelle Charbonneau or The Killer in Me by Margot Harrison will find this horrific mystery perfectly explosivethis one will require a late night." - Manhattan Book Review
Top customer reviews
Vic, shy and riddled with anxiety, fades into the background at her exclusive catholic school. Andrew, her boyfriend and only friend, has agoraphobia. At the start of junior year, new student Z grabs the attention of everyone, including Vic. Soon they're texting and Vic is falling for the mysterious bad boy. Soon the self described good girl is breaking rules and going against her better judgment.
Level-headed Vic seemed like a straightforward narrator, perhaps not the most insightful and certainly not always displaying good judgment. She seemed to lose herself in Z, the deeper she fell, the more I could see how fragile her self esteem was. At times I wanted to shake her, to tell her she was worth more than how Z treated her.
The mysterious Z was a mystery to me, even at the end of the book, I wish his character had more developed. Since all the action and characters, except for the blurbs at the beginning of the chapters, were filtered through Vic's not-always-reliable eyes.
Cyn Balog made my jaw drop to the floor with one of the most unexpected twists I've read in recent memory. UNNATURAL DEEDS has great voice, characters and a creative plot. I had fun reading the story, even though Z's character was somewhat implausible.
I highly recommend this compelling mystery.
But Victoria has secrets. Secrets that can destroy her illicit relationship, or even her life.
I was honored to receive an e-galley of this book before its official release date. I’m all about infatuation and depressed teens, so the plot spoke to me. As I was reading each chapter, I found myself becoming more and more engrossed with each character and how it would all end. I’m a read once a day type of girl, but I read this work every chance I got: before school, during dinner, during breaks, and even more before I called it a night. It took me 5 days to finish reading, and when it was all over, I was gagging for more.
The finale left me in a daze of excitement and utter disbelief. I didn’t see that coming! Readers are bound to love this book, not just because of its finale, but because of its suspense, great character development, and shocking realizations. You think one thing at one point, but once you turn the page, you’ll think something totally different. You’ll go from “I know what’s happening” to “What the heck?” to “Oh, Lord!”
The cover of the book is a very interesting one to say the least, and the tagline sums the whole plot up in a nutshell.
Balog, you did an amazing job!
I definitely felt sorry for the new girl, Victoria, that is, until the new boy, Z, came riding into school. He took her out of her shell and then everyone wanted to be her friend.
The ending is way out there and very, very creepy. I was thoroughly entertained and, as I said, would be a great book for YA and adults, as well.
Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
For the majority of the book, I was positive that I had the ending figured out. I would have bet serious money on it. I was sucked into the story, turning page after page, just knowing that I was right. Of course, I totally would have lost any bets because HOLY TWIST ENDING, BATMAN! Seriously, I was completely caught off guard. Loved it.
Don't let the negative reviews deter you from reading Unnatural Deeds. It's certainly not a perfect book by any means, but it's worth a read.
* This book was received from Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *
Most recent customer reviews
“I thought I knew you inside and out, but… I was wrong.Read more
I sincerely recommend it to anyone who likes insane plot twists.Read more
Basic gist: Vic tells the story to her boyfriend, Andrew, all about how she cheated on him, falling for the new guy at...Read more
POV: First Person – Female
"Obsession is strange. One moment you think you have control.Read more