The Girl in the Headlines by Hannah Jayne #bookreview #YA #mystery #thriller

The headlines say she killed her family. The truth? She doesn’t remember.

Andrea McNulty goes to sleep on her eighteenth birthday with a near-perfect life: she’s a high school field hockey star, a doted-upon big sister, the beloved daughter of two happy parents. But when she wakes up in a motel room the next morning, unable to remember what happened the previous night and covered in blood, Andi is a fugitive.

According to the news, Andi’s parents were brutally attacked in the middle of the night. Her father is dead, her mother is in a coma, her little brother Josh is missing–and Andi is the prime suspect. Terrified and on the run from the police, Andi teams up with Nate, the sympathetic boy working the motel’s front desk, to find the real murderer. But while the police are getting further from the killer, the killer is getting closer to Andi–closer than she could ever have imagined.

Waking up in a motel room covered in blood with no memory of what happened? I needed to know this girl’s story.

The hook for this novel is compelling and a perfect setup for an intense, thrilling novel. I felt Andi’s confusion, grief, and strong need to find her little brother. Seeing her home with police tape around it on television and hearing she’s a suspect in the investigation is surreal. I was as outraged and frustrated as she was over the media’s assumption that she’s guilty. Luckily for her she comes across street smart Nate working at the front desk of the motel, because she wouldn’t have survived a day without him. He’s a voice of reason and prevents her from making some (a couple at least) questionable decisions. I found it difficult to believe an eighteen-year-old girl could be this naive about the world around her.

A quick read, the story moves at a brisk pace. There’s plenty of action as Andi and Nate gradually piece together what happened that night, and it’s pretty clear from almost the beginning who’s involved. With such a breakneck pace wrapping up the plot, I was surprised when it ended abruptly and left many questions unanswered.

While this book begins with an intriguing mystery, puts the MC in a harrowing situation, and introduces a strong, very likeable supporting character, I was left scratching my head over the ending. I honestly expected an epilogue to wrap up the loose ends.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

32 thoughts on “The Girl in the Headlines by Hannah Jayne #bookreview #YA #mystery #thriller

  1. This sounds like a “made for TV” movie, Teri. I love the premise. What you said about an 18-year-old being too naive to be believable caught my eye. Maybe if she was younger. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could easily see this as a movie. The other teen even makes a comment to her more than once about being a little naive in the ways of the world, so younger might have made more sense.

      Like

    1. Thanks, Tessa! Felt like I was crusing along just fine until hitting a wall with the ending. With it being an ARC, maybe things changed in the final copy. I noticed several other reviewers mentioned the same thing about the ending.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I do love thrillers, but I think I’ll have to pass on this one. A heroine who makes bad decisions coupled with an abrupt ending sounds like a book that would frustrate me. Thanks for your honest review, Teri.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m pretty sure it’s a standalone. The story played out – we know what happened that night, who did it, and why – but still left several dangling threads. Even a couple pages of epilogue would have filled in the blanks. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

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