Nearly Gone Review

*Sigh* I tried to like this book… I really did…

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother's job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone's skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn't figure it all out soon—she'll be next. –goodreads.comsummary

I went into Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano with high hopes— I had been told by people that I wouldn’t be able to put it down so that was what I was expecting, but sadly, I got characters that don’t act like real people, a twist that has no emotional shock or weight, and one of the most repetitive plots that I have ever read…

MINOR SPOILERS are below just skip to the OVERALL section if you are worried about spoilers…

I’ve read from some unnatural characters’ point of view, but Nearly Gone takes the cake. As much as I tried to like these characters, NO ONE was likeable. I think that had a lot to do with the choices that the characters made and how NONE OF THEM MADE SENSE! One second Nearly is cool with Reece and the next she is telling him to go away… then Reece is cool with Nearly, two seconds later he is running off mad at her. And speaking of Reece, he has such a contradictory character. Towards the beginning of the book Nearly catches him asking for drugs and AT A CRIME SCEENE, yet she still trusts him and no one else bats an eye at him. But later on characters are constantly telling Nearly ‘he’s dangerous’ and ‘don’t trust him’ and now, for once, the reader doesn’t see him do anything illegal or suspicious. (Except break into Nearly’s locker and kind of stalk her… *angry mumbling*). But of course all of these ‘warnings’ are just to build up his bad boy reputation and to ultimately go nowhere because that would be different and interesting…

The plot of Nearly Gone sounds intriguing enough but what a synopsis doesn’t tell you is that the entire book is just Nearly reading an ad from the killer, trying to figure out the clue hidden in it, then failing meaning that she gets to the crime scene just in time to find the body of whoever was killed. Rinse and repeat until the final showdown…. There are scattered scenes throughout of Nearly interacting with her idiotic bad boy boyfriend but those range from laughable to cringe worthy. The only thing that kept me reading was the hope that the reveal of the killer would be someone interesting… but nope!

Every thriller, mystery novel is building up to a big reveal at the end, and the way that an author builds up to this reveal (dropping hints and clues) is what gives most mystery novels a sense of re-readability. Nearly Gone had a reveal but it was weak leaving no impact on the reader and killing that re-readability. Basically the killer was revealed to be someone who was incredibly underdeveloped and hardly in the story at all—I call this the Scooby Doo approach to mystery. Old Scooby Doo episodes used to have this formula where throughout the episode the culprit was made out to be someone (in a really obvious way) but when they unmasked the monster (or whatever it was) the person under the mask was always a random character mentioned at the beginning of the episode that was only in two scenes. Nearly Gone uses a similar formula, and while it makes guessing the killer harder, it lessens the emotional impact of the reveal since this a completely UNDEVELOPED character being revealed as the killer! I don’t care about Average Joe over here just because you had him in two scenes in the beginning of the book. It also destroys the re-readability because there are no clues dropped throughout the book leading me to believe that Average Joe was the killer, BECAUSE HE WAS HARDLY IN THE BOOK.

Overall, the more I think about Nearly Gone the less I like it. I really wanted to enjoy it but the repetitive plot, undeveloped reveal, and unnatural characters just ruined it for me. I don’t recommend this book, but if you have read it and enjoyed it I’m glad for you— I just didn’t. Comment thoughts on Nearly Gone or anything that I mentioned in the post below!

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