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LJ Reviews 2014 October #1
Wild 16-year-old Nica Baker is murdered, and her older sister refuses to believe that a lonely classmate committed the crime. So she drops out of college to hunt for the real killer, sinking herself into the craziness of Nica's exclusive New England prep school. You've seen Anolik's work in Vanity Fair, Harper's, and the Believer; with a 75,000-copy first printing.[Page 59]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
LJ Reviews 2015 February #2
Gregarious, fun-loving, and athletic Nica, the younger of two sisters, is murdered near their home on the grounds of a New England private school. The crime is quickly solved, but Grace, who has always lived in Nica's shadow, is not satisfied with the police's findings and grows obsessed with catching the true killer. However, the story line just scratches the surface of this insightful, complex novel, which is all about angst: broken relationships, class and social issues, the human psyche. The author skillfully develops Grace as a complicated character, using her perspective to get readers to empathize with her reactions to events around her. The other adolescent characters are equally well drawn. Anolik excels in capturing the nonplussed attitudes of teenagers not fully aware of the ramifications of their actions. VERDICT Despite an ambiguous ending that left this crime fiction fan somewhat dissatisfied, Anolik's haunting debut is tough to put down and will stay with you for a long time. The author's characters and tone recall Donna Tartt's The Secret History or Kimberly Pauley's Ask Me. [See Preub Alert, 9/15/14.]—Frances Thorsen, Chronicles of Crime Bookshop, Victoria, BC[Page 84]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2015 January #4
The bullet that snuffs out the life of 16-year-old wild child Nica Baker hits her family like a hollow-point, especially psychologically enmeshed big sister Grace, in this suspenseful, sad, and shattering first novel from Vanity Fair contributing editor Anolik. Only a year older, and the yang to Nica's yin, good girl Grace had been relying on her sister's charisma and cool to smooth Grace's way through the emotional minefields of Chandler Academy, the precious Hartford, Conn., private school where their parents both teach. In fact, Grace just can't let Nica go, repeatedly seeing, hearing, and talking with her during the grief-swamped, drug-muddled months that follow. When a fellow student's suicide-confession officially closes the case, Grace doesn't buy it. Deferring her enrollment at Williams, she sifts through the wreckage of their lives, ostensibly to figure out who really killed Nica, but, even more crucially, to find herself. As she starts to penetrate the myriad lies and secrets, the picture that emerges is far from pretty, with a lengthy list of suspects. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, Anolik's debut will haunt you. Agent: Jennifer Joel, ICM. (Mar.)[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC