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The Beauty of the End
Debbie Howells

from FictionZeal.com re: Girl Last Seen by Anne Greenwood Brown and Heather Anastasiu

Girl Last Seen - Heather Anastasiu, Anne Greenwood Brown

Eighteen-year-old Lauren DeSanto was loving the attention.  She and her best friend, Kadence (Kady), were putting their songs on YouTube and they were going viral.  Then, there was a lapse to the recordings.  Lauren had succumbed to a throat infection and after several weeks, her beautiful voice had still not returned.  Instead, it was now more of a croaking sound.  Eventually, in order to keep their fans happy, Kady began singing solo.  Lauren even talked her manager into allowing Kady to sing before their Cuppa Cuppa (coffee shop) crowd.  But, by the time Kady took the stage, she and Lauren were no longer on good terms.  Lauren put on a good front for the crowd, but Jude was watching her.  He could tell she wasn’t happy.  He used to know her well … back when they were friends.

 

When Kady goes missing, there is no shortage of suspects, but Lauren is a primary one because of a recent boyfriend double cross issue.  All of a sudden Jude comes back into Lauren’s life.  He was Nathan back when they were friends.  Now he’s using his middle name, Jude.  Nathan had severe acne.  Lauren stood by him … until Kady ruined their friendship, even causing Lauren to harshly snub him.  Jude, with the help of medicine, has overcome his acne and recovered from the physical scars.  Lauren now finds him to be ‘exciting’.  Can Jude help Lauren to clear the suspicion on her?  She must solve the mystery of Kady’s disappearance.

 

This is a wonderfully twisty teen thriller (age range 14 – 18).  The reader will wonder who is trustworthy; who is not?  I liked the various narration shifts giving us different character perspectives.  It allows us to see what each character was really thinking.  Even teens can pretend to like someone.  The author has constructed characters that are both likable and abhorrent.  They are, by no means, cut and dry.  However, a portion of the novel does require the reader to suspend believability.  Rating: 4 out of 5.