Cover Image: I Killed Zoe Spanos

I Killed Zoe Spanos

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Member Reviews

I love this book so much, y'all. An all new favorite!!

Our protagonist, Anna Cicconi, has accepted a position as a summer nanny for a family in the small Hamptons village of, Herron Mills. She has recently graduated high school and is trying to turn over a new leaf before starting college in the Fall. This includes distancing herself from city life, particularly her best friend, Kaylee, who is a party girl through and through.

Anna has been running wild lately and doesn't like how she feels about herself after. The blackout nights are the worst. She just needs to stay away from alcohol for the summer, put her head down, and concentrate on saving money for school. Once she is settled in, she can hardly believe her luck. The little girl she is caring for, Paisley, is really sweet and easy, plus the house she is staying in is completely swank.

Anna does have one problem though, the nights. She has every evening off and needs to stay occupied because it is never good for her to sit to long with her thoughts. She starts to go on a lot of nighttime walks, exploring the property grounds and surrounding neighborhood. It's on one of these excursions when she happens to meet the cute and mysterious boy next door, Caden, for the first time. He is home from Yale for the summer, staying in his family mansion, Windmere.

Caden is surprised to meet Anna as well, as she looks shockingly like his fiance, Zoe Spanos, who has been missing since New Years Eve. It's not the first time Anna has experienced this. Around town people are definitely shocked upon seeing the similarity between her and the missing girl. Paired with the fact that Anna begins to have memories of Herron Mills, even though she has never been there before, it's not surprising when she starts to believe she may have a connection to Zoe.

Interspersed amongst the current narrative chapters, we also have entire podcast episodes by Martina Green, investigating Zoe's disappearance. Even though the police believe she ran away, Martina, best friend of Zoe's younger sister, Aster, doesn't buy it. She begins her own investigation and documents it through her podcast.

It's so good. I love, love, love the podcast element as a way to tell the story. The back and forth, the way details of Zoe's life and disappearance are exposed, was absolutely intoxicating. Once I got into this story, I could not put it down. Racing towards the conclusion, I had no idea how it was going to end. Were Zoe and Anna connected? Was something supernatural happening? Is Zoe alive? Are Zoe and Anna the same person!?

I was confused, I was intrigued, I was loving every minute of it! This is one Summer Thriller everyone will want to read. I may read it again, actually, once the audiobook is released. I would love how to see how they handle the podcast in the audio.

So, in short, if you love intense, twisty-turny Thrillers, with a possibly unreliable narrator, a podcast, amateur sleuthing and multiple red herrings, you definitely need to pick this book up!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Margaret K. McElderry Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. There's nothing like finding a new favorite!
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I could not get enough of this book! If you enjoy mysteries/who-dun-its, this one will keep you on your toes. Anna Cicconi just graduated high school and desperately wants to turn over a new leaf. Her life in Brooklyn consists of her mom, who works too much to care what Anna is up to, and her friends Kaylee and Starr, who spend all of their time partying and hooking up with guys. Anna is over the party scene  and is eager to spend her summer in the Hamptons nannying for the Bellamy family. She quickly realizes that there are a lot of secrets in this affluent town. She sparks an uncanny resemblance to a missing girl, Zoe Spanos, which leads Anna to delve into Zoe’s disappearance. The further Anna digs, the more memories flood back to her and she realizes that she is in the Hamptons for a reason. She has flashes of Zoe’s death in her brain but can’t figure out how to put the pieces together. With the help of a local girl, Martina, Anna works to find out who killed Zoe.

This is a YA novel, but I think it appeals to adults as well. Anna’s character is mature for her age, despite the irresponsible lifestyle she is trying to escape. Kit Frick’s writing style is beautiful—full of details but not overly flowery. She knows how to set the scene and immerse the reader in Anna’s world. From the first chapter I was hooked. I’m normally able to figure out the ending of these types of stories fairly early, but I never had a clue who killed Zoe. There are the right amount of twists and turns and faulty clues to keep the reader guessing without revealing the truth too soon or seeming unrealistic. Plus Anna is an unreliable narrator, so her constant struggle to figure out what is real and what is fake makes it harder to guess who was involved in Zoe’s death. The chapters are primarily told from Anna’s perspective during the summer she came to the Hamptons, but they sometimes move to the present after Zoe’s death has been confirmed. Some chapters are also told from Martina’s perceptive which enhances Anna’s struggles nicely. Overall this is a great read. It’s quick, entertaining, well-written, and binge worthy. Thank you to Net Galley, the author, and Simon & Schuster Publishing for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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<i> I recieved an eARC this book from The Fantastic Flying Book Club for a blog tour. All the following opinions are my own! </i>

I Killed Zoe Spanos is a young adult contemporary/ mystery/thriller novel that really caught me by surprise!! I'm not someone who is easily impressed by thrillers because I'm not much of a plot-oriented reader, and them thrillers are always all about the plot. But this one really kept my attention for sure! 

I Killed Zoe Spanos follows the life of our main character Anna Cicconi, who, on the first page confesses to the murder of Zoe Spanos, a girl who went missing in the suburban utopia of Herron Mills where Anna is spending her summer babysitting for the Bellamys. The problem, of course, is that she most definitely didn't commit this murder. And Martina Green, an aspiring journalist and a close acquaintance of the Spanos family, is hell-bent on finding out the truth! 

I don't want to say anything else because I don't want to give anything away, but suffice to say that every little thing in the story was just the right amount of fucked up that I couldn't put the book down! The real "plot" of the novel doesn't start until we're a good 60% into it, and the main focus is on creating this discomforting atmosphere and a sense of unease and insecurity in the facts of the world that you're traversing in. And the book accomplished that fairly well for me. Yes, I was really impatient and that's part of the reason why I haven't given it the perfect rating, but the impatience wasn't bad enough for me to just DNF the book! 

The writing is fairly standard for a contemporary thriller and did its job. It wasn't unreadable, didn't feel stilted and carried the story well, and that's pretty much all I care about. Again, it did a pretty good job of conveying that discomfort throughout the book so props for that!

Part of the reason why I enjoyed this thriller so much is that it totally depends on the characters for most of the thriller part. The main character and the first person narrator of a large chunk of the book, Anna, is very very unreliable as one, but she's also someone you will end up rooting for one way or another. She's super idiotic and makes very bad decisions and is very very flawed as a human being, but she's young and she's trying her best to get out of a difficult situation, and honestly, who can't relate to someone like that!? Camden Talbot is also super adorable as a character. You will want to murder him along the book a lot, but I think it's easy to sympathise with him even if you can't forgive him, imp. And then there's Martina. She is a super interesting character, but we don't get to know her much and I wish it wasn't so. Her chapters are fewer than Anna's, and they focus mostly on solving the case and while that works for the book splendidly, it does paint Martina a bit two-dimensionally. The Bellamys and Paisley and the rest of the cast are all pretty chill characters as well. None stand out like a sore thumb, and some deliver very convenient exposition here and there, but all blend in well with the fabric of this story! 

Circling back to Martina's portions of the book--THEY'RE IN A PODCAST FORMAT!!! Which is so amazing!! I love books that mix it up with the format and this one was no exception!! I suspect the audiobook production of this baby will be really fun because of the mixed format and I am super excited for it!! 

The plot twist…. Umm…. Okay listen. It's NOT unpredictable. At all. And there's another twist thrown in there for the thrill of the readers. Which is more obvious. But the thing is, you're so wrapped up in Anna and her story that the plot twist doesn't hit you like it would in another thriller? Like yes it was fun, but it didn't blow me away and I didn't love it 100% but I'll be on-board, I guess. Ya feel? 

Lastly, this book is special because it shows you how easily the world is ready to move on from girls who are lost and missing. Granted, Zoe Spanos is a white woman from a family that is super rich and with a society around her that actually was capable of giving a fuck - and even her story is easily erased. Imagine all the brown girls who might go missing, all the indigenous ones, the Latinx ones, the children of  colour and black children whose families can't always afford to keep looking, whose families don't always give a damn. What of them, then? Which Martina Green in a corner of their world will tell their story? 

Something to think about, no? 

There's also a women-and-how-the-world-gaslights-them angle but it's a lot to unpack and too depressing to think about, so we're not gonna touch that. xD

Overall, I had a lot of fun reading this book and I would totally recommend it as a fun, summer thriller for y'all!!
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This was a dark twisty ya mystery and I really enjoyed it. I liked Anna as a main character This is told in alternating view points between the future and a podcast that serves to give us information about Zoe's disappearance. The multiple view points work really well in this book and give us just enough info to keep us hooked in the story. The writing style was great. I thought the characters all had some great layers to them. I really enjoyed unraveling the mystery. The only reason I knocked off a star was that the ending was a little too far fetched. It wasn't bad I just didn't love the ending. Overall though I definitely recommend.
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First, thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the eARC I received in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Second: I did not finish this book. This is the second book I requested from Kit Frick after reading the description and thinking it sounded fun and fast. This is the second time I’ve been disappointed. 

The plot crawls and the writing isn’t interesting. Yes, I can see where she is trying to hint at the plot that is to come, but it doesn’t work to suck me in. It’s too vague. 

This one, in particular, disappointed me because it opened with what should’ve been super interesting: a police interrogation of a young girl suspected of murder. But even that felt ambling! 
I would suggest skipping this one.
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“ZOE SPANOS IS MISSING. AND WE’RE MISSING ZOE”


I had heard a couple authors talking about I Killed Zoe Spanos last year which made me put it on my anticipated release list. I was so thrilled I got to read an early copy of this book.

Thrillers are not a genre I reach for a lot. Mysteries a bit more but Thrillers not really. I was excited to dig into this one. I do find them a bit harder to review without giving anything away though. I Killed Zoe Spanos was the type of thriller mystery where you go around suspecting every character you meet and doubting everything you learn. As we try and discover what really happened to Zoe Spanos my hypothesis went left and right and then up and down. Sometimes this genre can be a bit predictable and I will say that I did realize on a couple of things but a lot of it took me by surprise.

Anna, our main character, is what you would call an unreliable character which can be hard to connect with. As the story evolves we are made to doubt a lot of what she says and does. Nonetheless, I did enjoy Anna. You want to root for her even though you have a nagging feeling at the back of your head telling you maybe she’s deceiving us all.

The story moves a lot in time. The action mainly takes place during the Summer but we do jump a little ahead to the Fall for a couple of chapters. But everything is cohesive to the story and just serve the purpose to confuse you even more on who is lying. Besides these jumps, there is another through which we learn information and that is through the transcripts of a podcast called Missing Zoe that is done by Martina Zoe Spanos’s sister best friend. I particularly enjoyed these as I do listen to a lot of true-crime podcasts. I thought they brought an original aspect to the story and it was a cool way to introduce characters. I will probably be rereading this book since I’ve heard that the audiobook will have a full cast and I am very curious to see how it turns out.

I think that you can really see that Kit Frick masters this genre. Her writing seemed right in its element. She had me second-guessing everything. When I thought I knew what happened she threw me a curveball and I had to start my process all over again. It was my first book by her and definitely not my last.

I really enjoyed I Killed Zoe Spanos. It was a really cool thriller mystery that reminded me a little of Pretty Little Liars or Riverdale.
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It's one of the best books I've read this year. It was shocking. I wish I could say more, but I would share some spoilers here, so.... Read, for you know about what I wrote this.
And if you liked Sadie, by Courtney Summers, you'll liked this one as well.
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3 stars (release date June 30, 2020)

You can read all of my reviews at https://www.NerdGirlLovesBooks.com.

This is a pretty good YA Mystery/Thriller about a teenager working as a nanny in the Hamptons who confesses to the murder of a young woman that she may never have met.

High School graduate Anna escapes her troubled life in Brooklyn to work as a nanny for the summer in the small Long Island town of Herron Mills. She's hoping for a fresh start from her hard-partying days as a high school senior. But her hopes of having a quiet summer are dashed when she discovers that she bears a striking resemblance to Zoe Spanos, a local girl that has been missing since New Years Eve. People that knew Zoe have strong feelings about her disappearance, and as Anna learns more about Zoe, she gets the eerie feeling that she and Zoe are somehow connected - and that she knows what happened to her.

At the end of the summer Zoe's body is discovered and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But things don't add up and Martina Green, the teen host of a podcast about Zoe's disappearance, keeps digging into the case to find the truth.

This is a quick and easy read, with a few surprising twists in the story. The book drags in the middle and the multiple times that Anna has memory issues or deja vu could have been handled differently and starts to get old, but I guess the author needed to bulk up the "mystery" part of the story. Most of those moments didn't really make a lot of sense, particularly the multiple times that Anna seems to "zone out" and not remember she had plans or was supposed to do something. There are a few unnecessary supporting characters that add clunky red herrings to the story and don't make a lot of sense. They appear to be added simply to fit the "mystery book" formula.

While there is nothing earth shattering new in this book, it's an ok read.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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While my favorite genre to read would probably be YA fantasy, occasionally I find it difficult to resist the urge of reading a YA thriller. I’ll read just about any book published by Courtney Summers or Karen McManus, and it seems I’ll have to add Kit Frick to that list too. 

The book opens with a recent high school graduate from Brooklyn, Anna Cicconi, having confessed to the accidental murder of Zoe Spanos, a college sophomore from the Hamptons. It is told through a series of flashbacks to the summer Anna spent in the Hamptons as a nanny, Anna’s time in a juvenile detention center, and a podcast hosted by another local girl named Martina. 
 
Frick provides enough red herrings to mislead, ample foreshadowing to make you feel stupid for not guessing correctly, and a great plot twist at the end. The plot structure and suspense in this book was excellent. While well-written, some of the narrative detail read extraneous, which made the pacing a bit slower than it needed to be in the beginning sections. I’m hesitant to give this book to my younger high school readers because of its treatment of teen drinking. While drinking among teens is a clear reality, there were some troubling events that didn't seem to have a harsh enough consequence for the situation. While it doesn't in any way glorify teen alcoholism, I don't think Frick did enough to address the issue here in a way that is clear for her teen audience. That being said, it is definitely something I can see placing on a summer reading list or putting into my classroom library — kids would eat this book up!
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Unfortunately this book fell flat for me. I am not sure if I was expecting more due to all the hype or if I’m just not a huge YA thriller fan but I had a very hard time connecting to the characters. I didn’t feel engaged and felt as though the story dragged along and was a bit confusing at first.
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This is the first book I have read from Kit Frick but it certainly will not be my last. She was able to weave an amazing mystery while dropping in some ghostly allure that I enjoyed. In fact, the flashes of memories and nightmares are one of the (many) aspects I could not get enough of. 

Frick is able to create such a vivid main character in Anna, yet leaves you questioning whether she is delusional, compulsive, or unnaturally obsessed with the missing Zoe. The entire narrative leaves you wondering what is real and what is just a figment of a demented mind. AND THAT CONCLUSION?! Readers will be left reeling. 

I would highly recommend this book to anyone, especially those you love modern spins on classic gothic literature.
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Knowing that I had a recent love for mystery/psychological thrillers, a friend recommended I Killed Zoe Spanos to me. Not that long ago the two of us read another thriller as a buddy read and when she heard about this one she thought it would be another one the two of us would enjoy together. I can report she was right. Unfortunately I read way ahead of her because once I started I couldn’t seem to stop, but we both agreed this was definitely exactly what we were hoping for.

I Killed Zoe Spanos starts with Anna Ciccioni, a teenage girl from New York, that is moving to the Hamptons for the summer to nanny for a little girl. When Anna arrives in town she starts to notice people sometimes stare at her. She soon finds out she looks a lot like Zoe Spanos, a girl that was presumed dead around New Years when she went missing. As summer moves on Anna starts having memories of the town which is a place she has never been before. She isn’t sure what is going on, but with the help of a local teen journalist she is going to find out why she is having memories of a girl she never met and a town she has never been to before.

I had a lot of theories about I Killed Zoe Spanos while I was reading. And I loved that. I loved that it made me question what I thought I knew. It made me look at everything going on to try and figure it out. When I realized I was right about one part I was so happy, but another part I didn’t really see coming and that is what I love about a great mystery thriller. Anna was just as clueless as the rest of that and like her I really just wanted to know what happened. I also really liked the use of the podcast aspect. It reminded me of Sadie by Courtney Summers and I loved that book.

I can’t really say much about the specifics about I Killed Zoe Spanos. It’s hard to talk about without giving anything away. All I can tell you is if you like mystery and thrillers this should be on your TBR.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thanks also to the FFBC for including me on the blog tour for this book! You can find my full review and my favourite quotes on my blog (link in bio). 3.5 stars

This was a thrilling YA mystery that was written with a mixed-media format that I really enjoyed. It's being likened to Sadie and while I can see why, it should be kept in mind that the narrative is quite different. I also haven't read Rebecca so I don't know how accurate the comparisons or influences are. The start of the book was admittedly confusing and it took a while for me to immerse myself in the story and to wrap my head around what was happening. But once I did and the pace rapidly picked up around the 20-30% mark, I ended up eagerly speeding through the rest of the novel to find out what happened.

The story was told in alternating timelines between the past summer (when Anna was babysitting ) and the present day (when Anna has confessed--not a spoiler since you find this out in the first chapter) and I liked how it was presented. Frick's writing style is easy to read and engaging. I really enjoyed the mixed-media format as it kept the pace fast and easy to read. It was a combination of police interview transcripts and the transcript of a teenage run podcast to solve the mystery of Zoe's disappearance/death. I would be interested in checking out the audiobook for this because I can imagine that if it's done the same way Sadie was, it'll be an amazing and enhanced reading experience.

One thing that surprised me was how creepy and atmospheric the writing was. I didn't expect to be so creeped out reading this book but Frick really knows how to set an eerie and sinister, and almost supernatural atmosphere that had me curling my toes up under my covers and had me sleeping with the lights on. This was definitely not the sunny, party-filled Hamptons that you normally see on screen and read of in books!

I thought all of the characters were pretty unlikable and I never came to care for any of them. They came off as pretty shady (and awful friends), and selfishly motivated which made it hard to feel invested in their situations. Anna gave me very strong unreliable narrator vibes, which is pretty normal with mysteries/thrillers, but that also added to my confusion of what exactly was happening to/with her character. Was this something more towards mental illness or was it more paranormal? Despite being confused about what was real and what wasn't, the suspense of not knowing also kept me on the edge of my seat and eager to find out more.

There were a few plot twists and some were predictable while others, including whodunit, did manage to surprise me. That said, I was pretty disappointed by the whole reveal and with how everything was explained. I had to suspend my disbelief from the start, especially when in chapter one the police are basically interviewing a minor without parental consent/presence, and they were threateningly coercing her to give a confession just to close the case. That was already a bit of a flag for me, but also, the police might as well not have even been mentioned because of how useless their presence was in the book. When we get to the end and there were too many coincidences explained away to be probable, it just became... unsatisfying. I can't say anything more without giving things away, it just felt very convenient and maybe even raised more questions. Although most of my original questions were answered, I think I was expecting a bit more and this fell flat and it's what brought my rating down to 3.5 stars.

Despite the slightly disappointing reveal and ending, this was still a thrilling YA murder mystery that I think will be a big hit for many this summer (I know my opinion is in the minority for this one)! Frick's eerie atmospheric setting and engaging writing style will keep you on your toes and eager to read on to find out how the rest of the story unfolds.
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This was a great YA mystery. It does almost make you want to put it down as it begins very slowly. Beware that the beginning is slow but it does pick up pace fairly quickly. It is difficult to relate to Anna, but it depends on the reader. She was fine with my reading, the voice was also great. Once you are able to get into the story a bit, it also might get better in that regard. Easily can be read in one sitting.
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I LOVED this book! I read for hours straight to finish it and discover the truth. I read so many mysteries that I am always thrilled when I am surprised. I was unable to guess the whole ending of the book so that was definitely a nice surprise. If you like mysterious page-turners, this one is for you!
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A solid YA mystery.  Although the beginning moved slowly and it was difficult to connect with Anna, the novel picked up pace once we were introduced to Martina's podcast.  Once we were able to delve into the actual mystery of Zoe's disappearance instead of Anna's lifetime regrets, the book was more enjoyable and binge-worthy.
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I Killed Zoe Spanos is a fun summer read for fans of true crime podcasts and heady, psychological thrillers. While some of the twists are are predictable, some are truly surprising. This book features two timelines, one during the summer while Anna is working as a nanny in the Hamptons, and one timeline in the fall after Anna has been arrested for the murder of Zoe Spanos, her doppelganger. 

I think this is a fun YA read, but missing the heart-pounding suspense that adults want in a thriller. While I prefer Karen McManus or Maureen Johnson's who-dun-its, this is still one that I would recommend for a young adult mystery collection.
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This is a book I will definitely recommend to my students, especially students who love a good suspense novel. The plot keeps readers engaged and the inclusion of the podcast transcripts adds to the story. If one is familiar with podcasts, the transcripts read exactly how a podcast would sound. The timeline switches between present and past which also helps move the story along. The only thing that kept this a four-star rating instead of five is the main character. Some of her thoughts and actions seemed forced in order to "develop" the memory/lack of memory character trait. I didn't really connect with her, and while this may be a deal-breaker with other novels, the plot is strong enough to keep the reader engaged.  "I Killed Zoe Spanos" will make a great addition to any suspense novel collection.
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A fun, twisty summery mystery.

I Killed Zoe Spanos is the story of Anna, a girl from New York City who takes a summer nanny job in the Hamptons. Of Zoe, a girl who went missing in the same Hampton town Anna works in, and Marina, Zoe's classmate and an amateur reporter who starts a podcast to explore what might have happened to Zoe.

The sore's structure could have been confusing - it jumps forward and backward and is told from the point of view Anna in the past, Anna in the present, and Marina in the present - but it worked for me. 

I did guess one aspect of the story but did not guess a lot of the other pieces of the puzzle. If you like twisty, mysterious stories, definitely check this one out!
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It's been a huge struggle for me, as a reader, to get properly into mysteries and thrillers. I've always read so many other genres that I've never fully understood why this one hasn't resonated with me.


But, I've been trying to broaden my horizons as a reader, which I am so thankful for because it led me to this gem.


At first, I can say that I was beyond confused as to how the main character of this book had anything at all to do with any of the events that happened before we meet her.


But, very quickly I learn that Anna, who this story revolves around, isn't the most reliable of narrators. But, I think even she knows this, as she struggles through the book with holes in her memory.


Because of the nature of this story, I'm hesitant to say too much because I never want to give anything away.


So, I'm going to stick with what stood out to me the most--and that would be the fantastic writing by Ms. Frick.


I truly cannot praise her enough, as I was swept away in this story that I had no idea how it would end! And, I typically really enjoy a predictable ending.


But, this was done so well--with so many characters that I wanted to read more about.


If you're like me and don't read too many in the mystery or thriller genres but would like to begin--I fully endorse I Killed Zoe Spanos. There's just enough mystery to keep the reader enthralled but not so to make me have to go back and reread passages out of confusion.


I can't wait to read more from this genre--and especially this author!

Thank you so much for the opportunity to read and review this book!
My review will be available at the given link on 6/26/20 as a part of a blog tour.
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