I received an ARC of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
“It was accident, but…I killed Zoe Spanos” (Frick 15).
Rebecca meets the Hamptons meets true crime podcast in this new YA thriller that’s sure to change and pave the way for new novels in the genre.Anna Cicconi is nannying for the summer in Herron Mills, a beautiful, rich village in the Hamptons with a community still upset over the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who’s been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna and Zoe bear an uncanny resemblance to one another and two months later when Zoe’s body is found Anna confesses to killing her. But Martina Green, teen podcast host of Missing Zoe isn’t convinced that Anna is guilty, and if she’s innocent then who killed Zoe?
I Killed Zoe Spanos feels like a game changer for YA mystery/thrillers. The novel alternates between Then (Anna in Herron Mills), Now (Anna in juvie), and every few chapters include transcripts from Martina’s podcast. The story keeps readers engaged, both the Then and Now chapters were each as interesting as the other. And it felt more realistic compared to many mystery/thrillers found in the YA genre The interest in Zoe’s case and Martina’s creation of a podcast around Zoe’s disappearance is definitely something that would happen nowadays in a culture that is obsessed with true crime.
I was incredibly engaged in the mystery of what happened to Zoe, whether or not Anna was innocent, and the other mysteries surrounding Anna’s past and her strange memories of Herron Mills, though she’s sure she’s never been their before. The characters were all so unique and well-rounded, I thought Anna was a fantastic narrator and though she wasn’t a character I may like in real life I enjoyed reading from her perspective.
That being said, while the mystery surprised me there were some revelations I didn’t like, particularly one at the very end that just didn’t seem to fit. I thought the book was so strong before this revelation and honestly think that taking out the last chapter would make the book so much stronger. Despite the last chapter, it didn’t ruin the story, it was just a disappointment.
I Killed Zoe Spanos is a fantastic new YA mystery/thriller that feels classic in a new and original, twisty way and I can’t wait to see what new stories this book will inspire.
Publication: June 30th 2020
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 384 pages (ARC)
Genre: Fiction, YA, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤⛤
“What happened to Zoe won’t stay buried…
When Anna Cicconi arrives to the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe’s life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected–and that she knows what happened to her.
Two months later, Zoe’s body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna’s confession is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn’t satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina’s podcast uncover the truth?”