Review: The Amateurs by Sara Shepard

Review: The Amateurs by Sara Shepard

The Amateurs by Sara Shepard is a murder mystery tells the story of four teens that meet online and contains a strong main character. The way the book is written is so mysterious and really makes the reader suspect everyone. This eerie book is the perfect read for the fall season!

Review: The Amateurs by Sara ShepardTitle: The Amateurs (The Amateurs #1)
Series: The Amateurs #1
Author: Sara Shepard
Also by this author: Follow Me (The Amateurs #2)
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Rating: four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

I need some answers about my sister. Help…

Five years ago, high school senior Helena Kelly disappeared from her backyard in Dexby, Connecticut, never to be heard from again. Her family was left without any answers—without any idea who killed Helena, or why.

So when eighteen-year-old Seneca Frazier sees a desperate post on the Case Not Closed message board, she knows it’s time to change that. Helena’s high-profile disappearance is the one that originally got Seneca addicted to true crime. It’s the reason she’s a member of the site in the first place.

Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, she agrees to spend spring break in Connecticut working on the case with Maddy Wright, her best friend from Case Not Closed. However, the moment she steps off the train, things start to go wrong. Maddy’s nothing like she expected, and Helena’s sister, Aerin, doesn’t seem to want any help after all. Plus, Seneca has a secret of her own, one that could derail the investigation if she’s not careful.

Alongside Brett, another super-user from the site, they slowly begin to unravel the secrets Helena kept in the weeks before her disappearance. But the killer is watching…and determined to make sure the case stays cold.


❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review: The Amateurs by Sara Shepard

It’s been a while since I’ve read a murder mystery novel, and The Amateurs was the perfect book to get me back into the genre. I loved how all the characters are basically strangers that met on an online case solving forum. This was a nice original touch, setting the book apart from the basic murder mysteries. What I also really enjoyed was the fact that the identity of the killer is actually a big surprise. One of my biggest annoyances in books is predictability, so I was thrilled with the ending that I never saw coming.

❀ Fierce Main Character

Seneca is such a fierce main character. She doesn’t take crap from anyone and isn’t afraid to go snooping. The way her style is described makes her seem so trendy and strong, and I really admired it. Seneca can also be deceptive and is a good actress, making her the perfect person to search for clues.

❀ Well-Written

I loved the way The Amateurs is written! The story is told in multiple perspectives, which I always love, and really gives a lot of insight into each character’s life. There is so much backstory that is revealed pretty slowly, throwing the plot in an entirely new direction every time.  Sara Shepard really makes the reader question everyone as a potential suspect!

❀ Mind-Blowing Ending

The Amateurs by Sara Shepard is a murder mystery that features four teens that met online on a case solving forum. I loved the main character’s strength and the way the backstory is slowly revealed. After that mind-blowing ending, I feel like I should reread the book and look for the hints myself!

Book Quotes: The Amateurs by Sara Shepard

“It wouldn’t solve all her problems. It wouldn’t solve all her mysteries. But it was a start.”

About Sara Shepard

Sara Shepard

Sara Shepard graduated from NYU and has an MFA from Brooklyn College. She has lived in New York City, Brooklyn, Tucson, Arizona, Philadelphia, and now lives in Pittsburgh, PA. Sara's Pretty Little Liars novels were inspired by her upbringing in Philadelphia's Main Line.

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About The Candid Cover

Olivia ❀ YA book blogger, Starbucks lover, novice New Yorker, & professional bibliophile.

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