Thursday, October 10, 2013

review: you know what you have to do by bonnie shimko

You Know What You Have to Do was a twisted surprise. High school student Mary-Madgalene (called Mary by adults other than her mother and Maggie by her peers) has grown up as a social outcast living in a funeral home owned by her stepfather. Although her biological dad was gone before she was born, everyone in their small town knows exactly who he is as he’s in prison for killing his mother. Maggie believes his genes are responsible for the horrible secret she’s keeping—a voice in her head tells her to kill and she acts on it. Although she’s been sent to a therapist for her nightmares, Maggie is determined not to reveal anything.

A 15 year old girl who loves her dog is not who you expect as a serial killer—especially as one who brilliantly gets away with it. The premise was incredible and strong, but other elements made the plot weak. There were inexplicable jumps in the timeline despite the story taking place in one academic year. Furthermore, issues like abusive parents and date rape were introduced without going anywhere.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Amazon Children’s Publishing.

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