Cover Image: Missing Clarissa

Missing Clarissa

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Small town secrets? Murdered cheerleaders? Armature sleuths? If those topics intrigue you, then you should give this young adult mystery a read. I thought the character development was great, and unlike a lot of YA thrillers I did not see the ending coming. A great read if you liked A Good Girl's Guide to Murder or The Sorority Murder.

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I loved the diversity in this book, and the fact that it explored some issues that need more discussions and changes in our society. To me the voice wasn't as engaging as it could have been, it almost felt a bit flat. I wished the writing style had pulled me in more. I usually look to a mystery novel when I'm wanting a fast-paced page turner that's gripping and compelling, and this wasn't that story for me..
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I love a good old multi-media book. I heard podcast, I heard cold case, I was all in. I was sorely disappointed.
The plot is relatively simple: Cam and Blair, best friends, decide to tackle their town's most infamous cold case--missing cheerleader Clarissa Campbell, who disappeared in 1999, for a journalism project in a podcast format. The case gained national attention, as "everybody loves a dead girl"--a refrain repeated throughout the book. The podcast only makes appearances at the ends of the chapters, and (since this was an arc, I'm not sure if this is how it will be formatted in its final form) is only in the form of <speaker's name, bold> and then a copy of what they said during the interview with some extra stuff they said to the girls. I did call the culprit, which doesn't bother me, but it was definitely a very predictable outcome (if you've seen one or two episodes of Criminal Minds, you'll have it figured out). 
Let's talk characters:
Blair-Average. In her words, not mine. She gets good, but not great grades, she has a super-hot boyfriend (whose only purposes are to complain about her friendship with Cam and serve as "proof" of Blair taking back her agency (which happens off-page, mind you). Blair is the emotionally intelligent one, the one who thinks before she acts. She wants to be a writer, but is so self-deprecating over her writing abilities that it's ridiculous and hard to take seriously. 
Cam-genius, stem whiz who doesn't understand how to interact with others. Brash and impulsive. She's a lesbian and Latina, and she barely faces repercussions for her actions.
Both of these characters were insufferable. Combined with the fact that the POV switches (and it's not even clear whose head we're supposed to be in--it's third person kind of omniscient but not really. It was hard to follow), I disliked both of them immensely. Blair was the only tolerable one who got roped into Cam's scheme (towards the end). 
There was internalized misogyny (that's never addressed), Cam mentally accuses the girl she has a crush on of having a crush on their gay journalism teacher, and then serious issues were brought up and glazed over.
Sophie, Cam's girlfriend, points out the problems with the prison industrial complex. But this is brought up out of nowhere at the 80% mark and has no bearing on the actual outcomes of the case. It felt like the author was throwing in complex, nuanced issues without any forethought in order to appear more progressive. Cam breaks laws and completely disregards journalism ethics, but it ends up okay because she was right. What? 
Speaking of Sophie, she talks about how the prison industrial complex is terrible (it is, to be fair), but her stance on it is not discussed in detail and gave me the ick (the idea that a murderer should not be incarcerated is not something I can get behind. Perhaps that isn't what the author was intending, but since there's no nuance to the topic in the book, there's no way to know for sure). Let me clarify that I do believe there needs to be reform to the criminal justice system--but I don't think it was handled well here. 
Furthermore, when Cam and Blair go out to confront a suspect, they end up stopping by a gas station in Forks, Washington. They happen to stop by the Quileute Reservation DIRECTLY AFTER Sophie talks about all the harm colonizers did to Native Americans. Twilight was incredibly racist and harmful to the Quileute Nation, and having the two main characters show up there was very inconsiderate and careless. 
One thing that was handled decently was the idea that Clarissa's case only gained attention because she was a pretty white girl. This is a common theme that has been seen throughout history and with the expansion of the internet, more cases from other missing people of marginalized communities have come to the forefront.
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This started as a slow burn for me but I wound up really liking it! There is a well-known story in a small town of a girl who went missing from a party and was never found. Blair and Cam decided to investigate this story and make a podcast as part of a journalism project. As they get further into Clarissa's past and what may have happened to her, their own safety is put at risk. I finished the last 40% in one sitting because I wanted to see what was going to happen. I will definitely check out more from this author. 

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange of an honest review.
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I don’t think it is fair for me to give any feedback for this title, as I did not get very far before giving up. It was so confusing as it jumped from one girl to the next with not much warning and I never knew whose point of view I was reading from. It was also extremely cliché and did not hold my interest. It felt very unfinished and therefore I did not finish it. 

Thank you for this ARC that was generously provided by the publisher and author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Fascinating with just the right amount of intrigue. Several plot twists I didn’t see coming! Interesting characters.
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A great true crime murder mystery. Two friends set of on a podcast journey for a school project to discover the end of the story of local legend missing girl. Along the way they learn about themselves, each other, family and friends. They uncover the killer and a teacher who had been sexually assaulting girls for years. A great read!
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Thank you for the opportunity to preview Missing Clarissa.  This is a contemporary and in the current state of podcasts very relevant. 
I liked this book.  Armchair detectives will too!
3 stars
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This book was fast paced and thrilling. It kept me engaged and wanting to find out what had happened. I felt the author did a great job overall with this one and it will appeal to not only YA readers, but also adult thriller readers as well – if they can get over some minor annoyances.

Twenty years after a local high school student goes missing Blair and Cameron start a podcast outlining her disappearance for their journalism class. The more they delve into the stories, the more secrets are exposed putting them in danger. They manage to narrow down the suspects to her charismatic boyfriend and the old high school art teacher. When a mistake is made, and an episode is shared without much thought – both girls find themselves wondering if they should have let sleeping dogs lie.

This was a great book with one exception. Every single character had their skin color defined. I’m sorry but I really don’t care. I think skin color is only important when it has to do with one’s culture. Simply saying the “white teacher” etc gets boring and repetitive. Also, completely unnecessary. However, despite this annoying detail, the book was pretty solid. I don’t normally read YA but this one was fun overall.

Thank you to St Martin’s Press, @stmartinspress, and @netgalley for my advanced e-arc in exchange for this honest review. This one is out March 7th, 2023.
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This was a really captivating true crime type novel. The pacing was a bit off sometimes but overall the ending was great. I honestly didn't guess who it was, which is great. I wish the ending hadn't been so quick though!!
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"MISSING CLARISSA." is a book that I have mixed feelings about, for sure. I enjoyed the story and got invested in the plot and characters, but I wasn't a fan of how the girls were treated or how the ending played out. I didn't like how they continuously kept pointing out that people only cared about Clarissa because she was a "missing white girl." but then continued to obsess over her to the point of confronting several dangerous people and continuing their podcast. There's is a need to point out that 'true crime' and the nation only focuses on victims that are cishet white women typically, but it just felt disingenuous with everything else going on in the story. 

It's a fun 'true crime' thriller that's easy to forget it's a YA novel, and I think it's a good story with a straightforward twist. I'd recommend it to anyone who liked just a good, quick thriller/mystery to read.
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Absolutely adored this book. Five stars! I really loved the two main characters, Cam & Blair. They are two best friends who set out to produce a podcast regarding a girl who has been missing from their hometown for 20 years. What starts out as a simple project, quickly turns into the dangerous possibility that they will solve this mystery! 

This was such a great debut YA thriller! The mystery element kept me guessing. I loved the podcast portion, it was very well done.

Thank you NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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I thought it was a solid YA mystery and a fast read about small towns and secrets. It's a good one to keep in my back pocket for high school readers.
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Great thriller, always on the edge of my seat when I read it. It was written really well, and it was very long. I enjoyed it tremendously and recommend it to others.
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I really enjoy epistolary books. I've read books that are written like a podcast and was expecting this one to be the same but it's not. Each chapter represents an episode and has italicized text that would be the audio from that podcast episode. 

If you love YA and true crime then you'll love this book. Two high school girls decide to investigate a missing girl from their home town and discover what really happened to her in the process. 

The author did a great job at fleshing out each character no matter how minor they are so it feels like everyone is a well rounded person you can relate to.
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I was invested in the mystery of this book and it kept me on the edge of my seat. It gave major Good Girls Guide to Murder vibes and I liked it. The book did tend to use some descriptors that didn't fit the circumstances of the scene or just seemed unnecessary. Also, the flow between points of view wasn't always clear to me. I did like the character development though, and I was intrigued all throughout and for that it was a great book.
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Clarissa was a small town It girl who went missing and triggered nationwide interest over twenty years ago. Cam and Briar start investigating the case as part of a true crime podcast, and quickly find there are a lot of questions still unanswered...

This was pretty good as far as small town murder goes, and the reveal at the end was clever. However, it was too short to really build any sort of connection - I wasn't all that interested in the victim or the investigators so the ending fell a bit flat!

Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I really did enjoy this new domestic thriller by Ripley Jones. Great premise with awesome characters. So many lies, twists and turns. Seemed to veer of into white supremacy and abolitionist theories unnecessarily. Just felt out of place in the story. But overall I really liked it. 
Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book
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I kept hearing a lot of great reviews for this book, so I bumped it up my TBR and boy was that a good decision. I began reading this late at night thinking I would read a few chapters and ended up staying up way too late to get to the end. 

Cam and Blair are an unlikely duo.. at least from the outside, but they make a perfect team. For their journalism project, they have come up with the idea to do a podcast on one of the most famous cases in the history of their small town. Missing teenager Clarissa, walked into the woods one night after a party, and no trace of her was ever found. I really liked that these girls hey felt like real teenagers, flaws and all and it made me root for them all the more. They really had no idea what they were doing, with investigating the case and recording the podcast itself, everything was kind of fly by the seat of our pants. Especially with Cam, who is a lot more impetuous, and once she gets an idea in her head nothing will stop her from running with it. 

This story is full of twists and turns, a whole mess of suspects, and a thrilling mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end. I can't wait to see what this author will write next!
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Two best friends in high school start a podcast to explore a teenage girl's unsolved murder from 1999. Along the way, they revisit the story, and as you can imagine, there are still secrets aplenty throughout town. This is a YA read, and it definitely has that vibe. What I mean is that I as an adult who takes in true crime in various mediums wanted even more thrills, AND I could also see I wasn't the target audience for this one. For the target crowd, I think it has some good suspense to keep them reading! Thanks to NetGalley for the early look at this March 2023 release!
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