Books, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: The Amateurs by Sara Shepard


Seneca spends most of her free time on Case Not Closed, a website letting amateur sleuths take on cold cases. When her friend from Case Not Closed, Maddy Wright, suggests that they should take on the case of Helena Kelly in Maddy’s town, Seneca immediately agrees. However, things start going wrong as soon as Seneca arrives in Dexby. The first problem is that Maddy isn’t Madison Wright but is instead Madison’s step brother, Maddox. When the two find Aerin Kelly, Helena’s sister, she doesn’t want help at first. When the three finally begin working together, joined by Brett Grady from Case Not Closed, they begin unraveling the case one clue at a time. However, as they get closer to the truth, someone tries to keep them silent.

The Amateurs had romance, mystery, and action. However, having two love triangles was a bit too much for my liking. The book kept me intrigued with the ever-growing list of suspects and the change of scenery. Whenever they thought they had the case solved or they had hit a dead end, something surprising happened that sent them after a new lead. Also, I really enjoyed the different characters that added different layers to the complicated story.

The ending was definitely the most memorable part of the book. The last two chapters turned everything upside-down in a way that I didn’t see coming. It reopened many details that I’d thought were closed and made me question everything. After that, I re-read the book and thought of everything from a different and terrifying new light.


Reviewed by Ashley, Grade 8, Libbie Mill Library

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