Once again, Karol Sacca was right on with a recommendation. This was a darn good book, and I can totally see why teens would be all over it. In fact, I can see this book being made into a movie it's so good. Imagine Mean Girls meets Carrie...kinda.
The book opens with Callie standing over the body of Katherine - top school mean girl - holding the bloody knife. *Click* people start taking pictures with their cell phones. "You killed her!" Shouts someone. The only problem is that Callie didn't actually kill Katherine. But now that there are pictures and accusations, Callie knows no one will believe her, so she hides. While she's hiding she tries to figure out who really did kill Katherine and why they would want frame her. And the ending is totally unexpected! And you all know how much I hate obvious endings.
What I really liked about this book is that it's actually plausable. Most books about teens and murder are completely unrealistic (I'm thinking of Blank Confession by Pete Hautman). That isn't to say that such books are not great reads - it's just rare that you come across one where a teenager is able to hide out for days without getting caught, the mistakes and motives are believeable, and the ending is both shocking and excellent. Strasser did a great job of making Callie's story believeable, and kept just enough details from the reader so that the ending make sense but isn't obvious.
Not only could I not put the book down, I let out a little yelp this afternoon when, while reading the book, my boyfriend's cell phone went off unexpectedly. That? Is the sign of a good book and an engrossed reader.
Might want to check out these reviews as well:
From a student at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, IA:
A great synopsis from ReadingJunky's Reading Roost: