My aunt and uncle recently came for a visit. It was great seeing them after not seeing them for a very long time. We had a good time catching up and even went out for a celebratory lunch. Before she left, my aunt mentioned that now that I was a certified teacher, I could take advantage of Netgalley, a website which allows certified teachers and librarians to review books for free.
I had the opportunity to read my first review copy this weekend.
Untraceable by S.R. Johannes is a young adult suspense, thriller novel with a little bit of romance thrown in. The main character, 16 year old Grace Wells, has grown up at her father's side. As long as she was able to walk, she was following her dad through the woods of North Carolina, learning basic survival strategies. It's a good thing, too, because he's been missing for three months and the local Sheriff is about to close the case. But deep in her heart, Gracie knows that her dad is still alive. Her goal is to prove it - especially to those who have written her dad off as dead and her as crazy: her mother, her shrink, Mr. Head, and even her best friend/ex-boyfriend, Wyn. Along her way, she discovers a large bear poaching ring, hidden deep within the woods she calls home. Everything - and everyone - is not what it seems and it's up to Gracie to unravel the tied knots and make sense of it all.
Untraceable is a quick read - I was able to read it in a weekend (and I probably could have read it in a day if my Kindle battery wouldn't have died). The storyline was pretty good as was the dialogue. Occasionally, the dialogue would get a little choppy when a character would say a word or phrase, repeatedly, that jarred the nerves. There was mild language that got progressively worse as the book went on (but it's important to note that the language is said mainly by adults, not teens. There is one instance where Gracie drops a phrase but it's very brief).
Until I asked for a review copy and did a little research, I did not know that Untraceable is a part of a series. As such, be expected to be dropped off, suddenly, at the end of the first book in the series. Not everything is tied together and solved. But this is good. Because truth be told, I want to read the second book in the series (the third book should be coming out this fall).
I'd definitely recommend this book for any teen (or parent!) as I feel, overall, the storyline is really, really good. There are no graphic sex scenes and aside from a total of about five curse words, the language is fine. There is violence (Hello? Bear poaching), but it overall, it wasn't anything that I feel was inappropriate. (There were a couple of scenes where Gracie is captured and beat, which might be upsetting to some readers).
Overall, I'm glad I was able to review Johannes' book. If I was browsing young adult books at the library, this book would have not only caught my eye, but made its way into my library tote.
As my daughter says: 4 out of 5 stars.
Until next time,
(Note: I received a free ebook copy of Untraceable in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own.)