This is Our Story by Ashley Elston
This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2016, but I sadly never made it to it before the year ended. I’m not even really sure what really enticed me about this book, but I just knew I had to read it. I love a good mystery novel, but it seems that YA is teeming with contemporary and fantasy novels that I seem to miss my good ole YA mystery in the shuffle. I had high hopes for this novel – and it did not disappoint.
Once Upon a Time…
Five went in. Four came out.
No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.
Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the district attorney’s office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.
Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As investigates with Stone, the aging prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot, she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own.
Okay, where to begin with this story? After watching an insane amount of mystery/detective shows in my entire life, I tend to think of myself as an amateur book detective. Okay, I’m not the Sherlock of YA mysteries, but I can pick up on a lot of plot twists and guess a lot of things that will happen. What I loved about this book is that it did keep me guessing for a lot time on who the killer was – I accidentally screwed myself and looked at the end by accident – but I had no clue what the motivations were until the big ending. I was pretty shocked, and I loved every second of it.
It’s so easy to binge read as well. I was hooked every second what was going to happen and what was coming – but I just had to know, causing myself to fall desperately behind on all the things that I needed to do. It was addicting – like any good mystery should be.
I also really enjoyed Kate. There were some things that I just wanted to shake her for and tell her to stop omitting information, but for the most part, I thought she was a great heroine. I really connected to her, and I thought she was super realistic. I loved how her photography came into play, and I loved how she factored into the case. It was a super unique way, but it gave so much more insight into the mystery – even though I still couldn’t figure out that insight.
I also loved the romance. It was soooo shippable. I don’t want to spoil who it is with since there are a few possibilities, but I totally loved it. The feels were very real – which I was super excited for since I didn’t think there would be one at all. And it didn’t feel forced the way that some YA mysteries do.
The only slight issue that I had with this novel was the ending. I totally agree about the killer – I wasn’t upset with that. I just felt the ending was off? Like, it just felt weird and like maybe it didn’t mesh as much with the novel. I just wasn’t completely into it.
Overall, though, this was a great novel, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Even though I love mysteries, I can rarely find a good YA one. This is one of the best – if not the best YA mystery – I’ve ever read. There was a slightly disconnect for me at the end, but it was definitely great book. Five crowns and an Aurora rating since this is definitely becoming a mystery classic for me!
Check it out:
What do you think? Have you read this? What is your favorite YA mystery? Do you enjoy them or not so much?