GrudgeGrudge by Doreen McMillan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A suspenseful YA mystery...

"Grudge" by Doreen McMillan emerges as a riveting Young Adult mystery, characterized by its suspenseful narrative. The focal point of this story centers on the life of seventeen-year-old Laurel Anderson, a young woman grappling with academic challenges that propel her and her circle of friends toward a risky endeavor destined to alter the course of their lives irreversibly. This daring plan, initially conceived during a casual sleepover, quickly escalates into a harrowing series of events, thereby entangling the group in a web of secrecy shrouding the ominous occurrences of that pivotal night.

The plot takes a tantalizing turn with the introduction of Jace Messina, a character whose mercurial allure and enigmatic demeanor intricately interweave with the overarching narrative. As the story unfolds, a glimmer of hope emerges, only to be overshadowed by the disintegration of Laurel's world. The aftermath of their ill-fated decisions casts a long shadow, particularly with an ominous figure lurking in pursuit of retribution.

McMillan skillfully crafts a narrative characterized by suspense and enigma, ensuring readers are consistently perched on the edge of their seats. The tale probes themes of trust, repercussions, and the multifaceted nature of adolescent life. However, while the narrative captivates with its twists and turns, the intricate web of subplots occasionally overwhelms, leaving certain inquiries unanswered. Nevertheless, the continual suspense ensures readers remain engaged until the final page. "Grudge" proves an enticing choice for fans of Young Adult mysteries, even though a more refined focus on the central narratives could have further enriched the story's depth and impact. Recommended.

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