I've read almost all of Jennifer Lynn Barnes' books, and I've enjoyed them all; this is no exception. The mysteries are always compelling; the heroines a good blend of clever, vulnerable, and thoughtful; and the secondary characters a solid accompaniment to the plot and the character arcs. Here, Sawyer is tougher than some, but we get to see some of the cracks, as well -- enough to sympathize, for sure. There are only minor hints of romance, but I think the ending leaves room for more (and those who don't care as much about romance will probably appreciate the lack of priority given to that element). I thought the pacing was solid too, and I can't wait for the next one!
One-sentence summary: Sawyer is given the opportunity to live with her estranged grandmother, meet her cousins and extended family, and even discover the true identity of her biological father -- if only she can survive the trials of being a debutante in the process.
Genre: Southern contemporary, mystery, girl-power, hints of romance
Publishing Info: Freeform, 11/18
Overall review synopsis: 5/5 stars, will most likely re-read; recommended for those who love strong teen heroines, those who enjoy complicated mysteries, and those who like girl power and female friendships.