Sunday, 4 January 2015

When You Leave By Monica Ropel

Cass is positive that the people she cares about most will eventually leave her. Her father is gone, her mother doesn’t notice Cass exists, and her best friend’s battle with cancer was too close of a call. So when she begins her year at a wealthy new private school, Cass’s plan is to suffer through it in anonymity.

However, when her cute locker neighbor, Cooper, shows an undeniable attraction toward Cass, keeping him at a safe distance isn’t easy. Even though her Frogtown skater world and his do-gooder preppy one are so different, Cass and Cooper somehow mesh. And once Cass lets her guard down, Cooper is mysteriously murdered—thus proving her original theory.

When Cass’s close friend is suspected as the killer, she isn’t sure who she can trust anymore. Between investigating Cooper’s murder and trying to understand what she really meant to him, will Cass even find what she is looking for? -Goodreads

You guys know I hate giving bad reviews. Especially when I'm reviewing an advanced copy of a book. I hate forming a negative impression of a book that hasn't even come out yet. But I need to be honest with you guys so yes. The book wasn't that great.

'When You Leave' is about a girl called Cass who attends a private school by day and then after, joins her friends from the rougher side of the neighbourhood to skateboard together. One day, the boy she has been dating for 2 weeks, Cooper, gets murdered and one of her best friends, Gav, is taken in as the main suspect.

Cass decides to become Nancy Drew and find out who really killed Gav because she believes that he was wrongly accused and she decides that only she (and not the highly qualified police officers) can solve the case and bring Cooper's killer to justice.

I didn't like the book firstly because I felt that it was very pretentious. I thought that the way Cass and her friends talked and acted was just too over the top. I mean what's with the insistence that there are the higher class people and the lower class people? It was annoying.

I also didn't like how unreal the whole thing was. This is a minor spoiler but Cass needs to find Cooper's phone to find out who lured him into the woods in the first place and the cops can't find the phone. One day, Cass has a dream that the phone is in the woods and she dreams up the exact spot where it is. So good old Cass goes ambling into the woods where they have been told to not go and goes to get the phone and blah blah blah, Cass is a hero.

What I didn't like about that was that the area in the woods had been had cordoned of by the police for a long time for investigation.  You're telling me that the police couldn't find the phone if it was hidden in a log? You're telling me that in this murder investigation, the highly qualified investigators didn't think to look inside a damn log?

I also hated how Cass immediately assumed the role of investigator. I mean, in the real world, you can't go around accusing people of murder randomly. In the real world you can't lie to investigators without consequences. In the real world you don't get to play the role of the police as and when you want. The storyline was unrealistic and childish.

I also felt like the book was very rushed. Like when Monica got to the middle she just got tired and decided to rush things along. I mean you're telling me that someone capable of murder and escaping the police for so long would be so careless as to leave a phone with a text on it that incriminates him? And you're telling me that the text was the only factor in the murder? That was the only clue? I don't feel like she spent enough time going over how serious the charge was and how serious the case was. I mean she never even really mentioned much about how the community reacted to a murder happening in the school woods. That's a big deal. When you tackle a subject like murder, you need to be prepared to go in depth and you need to prepare to give the story time to develop and grow. You need mature characters and strong storylines. This had none of that.

I honestly felt like I was reading some Famous Five book. 

To her credit, I think the twist in the end was a good. The murderer was someone unexpected. Which is a pity because the book really had the potential to be good. It just wasn't given enough time, thought and research.

My Rating: 2/5
Publication Date: 7th April 2015
*I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley.* 
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