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My name is Chelsey and I am the creator of Charming Chelsey's! I read and review anything and everything that I find to be "charming." I accept ARCs or already released books for review, and I'm also available to participate in any blog tours or book reveals too. If anything, please don't hesitate to email me any time for any reason at: charmingchelseys(at)gmail(dot)com

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Book Review: The Amateurs

The Amateurs (The Amateurs, #1)Author: Sara Shepard
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Series: The Amateurs # 1


I need some answers about my sister. Help…

Five years ago, high school senior Helena Kelly disappeared from her backyard in Dexby, Connecticut, never to be heard from again. Her family was left without any answers—without any idea who killed Helena, or why.

So when eighteen-year-old Seneca Frazier sees a desperate post on the Case Not Closed message board, she knows it’s time to change that. Helena’s high-profile disappearance is the one that originally got Seneca addicted to true crime. It’s the reason she’s a member of the site in the first place.

Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, she agrees to spend spring break in Connecticut working on the case with Maddy Wright, her best friend from Case Not Closed. However, the moment she steps off the train, things start to go wrong. Maddy’s nothing like she expected, and Helena’s sister, Aerin, doesn’t seem to want any help after all. Plus, Seneca has a secret of her own, one that could derail the investigation if she’s not careful.

Alongside Brett, another super-user from the site, they slowly begin to unravel the secrets Helena kept in the weeks before her disappearance. But the killer is watching…and determined to make sure the case stays cold.


“She was never going to know the truth about Helena. What happened to her sister was going to remain a mystery – and a recurring nightmare – for the rest of her life.”

"Also, if you think she was killed in December, why would I have called her in January?" He rolled his eyes. "You people are total amateurs."


Maybe if Seneca figured it out, everything else in her life that was spinning out of control would fall into place, too. All right, then: she was going. She was going to figure out what happened. It wouldn't solve all her problems. It wouldn't solve all her mysteries. But it was a start.

I know I am probably in the minority with this statement, but this is my first Sara Shepard novel. My favorite type of book is one that has a secret that unveils itself at the beginning, but makes you wait until the very end to find out what exactly that secret is. This is the first book in what I am hearing is going to be a series. We meet a few characters who are, for whatever reason, into reading about and solving longtime cold cases. Some of these characters are connected to cold case personally and this story follows one character in particular. At the beginning of the book, we learn about the cold case that surrounds these characters this time around. A web of lies, deceit, and downright twisted endings flows through this rather short novel.


I was able to get through this book in only a few hours and was pleasantly surprised by the entire thing. Although, without giving too much away, I will say that the end was completely twisted and I am rather anxious to see how Shepard takes the series from here. I am also anxious to see the development of some of the main characters. While I developed an interest in them, I felt that they were lackluster at times. I wanted more about them and the things that triggered them. I hope that we see more of all of them in the next additions to the series. I will say that the mystery was well thought out and that I did not see any of it coming. I look forward to more from Sara Shepard!





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