Framed for the murder of her best friend, a young girl joins a super-secret society of teenage assassins to avoid a lifetime behind bars–and discovers her own true self–in this mesmerizing debut novel.
Seventeen-year-old Signal Deere has raised eyebrows for years as an unhappy Goth misfit from the trailer park. When she’s convicted of her best friend Rose’s brutal murder, she’s designated a Class A–the most dangerous and manipulative criminal profile. To avoid prison, Signal signs on for a secret program for 18-and-under Class As and is whisked off to an abandoned sleep-away camp, where she and seven bunkmates will train as assassins. Yet even in the Teen Killers Club, Signal doesn’t fit in. She’s squeamish around blood. She’s kind and empathetic. And her optimistic attitude is threatening to turn a group of ragtag maniacs into a team of close-knit friends. Maybe that’s because Signal’s not really a killer. She was framed for Rose’s murder and only joined the program to escape, track down Rose’s real killer, and clear her name. But Signal never planned on the sinister technologies that keep the campers confined. She never planned on the mysterious man in the woods determined to pick them off one by one. And she certainly never planned on falling in love. Signal’s strategy is coming apart at the seams as the true killer prepares to strike again in Teen Killers Club.
I’m not sure what this says about me, but a camp that trains teens to be assassins had me requesting this before even reading the whole description.
The action begins almost immediately as Signal and another teen are introduced to the other campers. For convicted murderers who have the most dangerous and manipulative criminal profiles, most of them seem so…nice. Having been framed for a murder and lacking even a hint of a killer instinct, Signal is absolutely a fish out of water and is pretty helpless with the assigned tasks. Speaking of tasks, the first one is how to dispose of a body without it being detected – and that’s when I was all in. Bizarre? Absolutely. But a practical skill for assassins.
I’d expected the teens to be sent out on missions pretty early in the story, but they don’t happen until the last part of the book. The rest of the time is spent on training, trying to recover Signal’s sketchy memories of the murder she was accused of, strange happenings around camp, and a prominent love triangle. I’m generally not a fan of this trope and honestly didn’t see the need for it, but that’s just me and a personal preference. Other reviewers seemed to enjoy it.
With an action-packed, brisk ending, don’t look away or you’ll miss some things. I suspended my disbelief with the big reveal as some of it seemed to come out of left field, but I was also frustrated because many questions are left unanswered, particularly one central character’s backstory. It’s set up perfectly for a sequel, but nothing in the title indicates one is in the works.
Dark, cultish, action-packed, and morally gray, Teen Killers Club is an engrossing read – just maybe not the best selection for more squeamish readers.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.