The Amateurs by Sara Shepard follows a group of young sleuths as they investigate a cold case. Seneca and Maddy meet over a website entitled Case Not Closed where detectives share information and details about crime cases. Together they respond to a plea from an Aerin Kelly, a girl whose older sister, Helena, was mysteriously murdered five years ago. Alongside Aerin; Brett, another user of Case Not Closed; and Madison, Maddy’s sister, the two reopen the case and embark on a journey to find Helena’s killer.
I found the book to be very interesting. There were many plot twists and the novel was a definite page turner. I liked the idea of the book, as I have always been a fan of mysteries. I really enjoyed the plot and appreciated the character development. Shepard is an excellent author; however, I believe Shepard’s writing focused too much on the love and relationship between the characters which took away from the thrill of the main plot. Despite this, the novel overall contained the elements of a great mystery and a storyline.
This book certainly contains more than one memorable event. Without spoiling parts of the novel or the ending, I believe what I found to be most memorable was the dynamic character of Aerin. When reading the novel, the audience is able to witness the change in Aerin’s personality. She becomes a better person, which becomes evident by the end of the book.
Reviewed by Emily, Grade 11, Tuckahoe Library