Genre: YA Thriller
Published: October 5, 2015 by Pocket Star
Length: 320 pages
Source: Balzer + Bray (ARC)
“Welcome to Wonderland. By day, it’s a magical place boasting a certain retro charm. Excited children, hands sticky with cotton candy, run frenetically from the Giant Octopus ride to the Spinning Sombrero, while the tinkling carnival music of the giant Wonder Wheel—the oldest Ferris wheel in the Pacific Northwest—fills the air. But before daybreak, an eerie feeling descends. Maybe it’s the Clown Museum, home to creepy wax replicas of movie stars and a massive collection of antique porcelain dolls. Or maybe it’s the terrifyingly real House of Horrors. Or…maybe it’s the dead, decaying body left in the midway for all the Wonder Workers to see.
Vanessa Castro’s first day as deputy police chief of Seaside, Washington, is off to a bang. The unidentifiable homeless man rotting inside the tiny town’s main tourist attraction is strange enough, but now a teenage employee—whose defiant picture at the top of the Wonder Wheel went viral that same morning—is missing. As the clues in those seemingly disparate crimes lead her down a mysterious shared path of missing persons that goes back decades, she suspects the seedy rumors surrounding the amusement park’s dark history might just be true. She moved to Seaside to escape her own scandalous past, but has she brought her family to the center of an insidious killer’s twisted game? Acclaimed author Jennifer Hillier’s bone-chilling thriller is masterful and fast-paced, hurtling toward a shocking, bloody conclusion.”
Oh wow this book was SO GOOD. It’s one of those books where you just have to pick up even though you’re tired as hell from school or work. It’s one of those books where you’re so sleepy, you fight off the sleep because you want to keep on reading. This book did not disappoint at all. It actually exceeded my expectations. The whole book is written in 3rd person point of view and sometimes switches character p.o.v. which totally worked out. Most of the p.o.v. are in Vanessa Castro’s though so it wasn’t confusing.
What I enjoyed most about this book are the characters and the setting. The characters are all sorts of f-ed up, full of flaws and that made them so realistic. They were also easy to distinguish because the author did a fantastic job developing their character. It’s not just “oh so and so is the police” etc. Nope. The author builds his/her character and is relevant to the story. Warning, most of these characters are thirsty as hell so I don’t recommend this book to younger teens.
The setting was fantastically written. This book takes place in Seaside, Washington and the author did an amazing job describing the little town and how it’s not as beautiful as it seems. The theme park called Wonderland was so creepy and I loved how most of the mystery revolved around that place. Seaside is all messed up and it was interesting to see how Vanessa will fix all the unfinished cases. I only took 1/2 stars off because I didn’t like the way the plot twist was revealed. It was just thrown at you and you’re like, wait, is this it? But seriously guys, please read this book it was so action packed and filled with mystery! It was really hard for me to put it down.