I am excited to share this review of I Killed Zoe Spanos. Click here to check out my interview with the amazing writer Kit Frick. I had received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
When Anna Cicconi arrives to the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe’s life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected–and that she knows what happened to her.
Two months later, Zoe’s body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna’s confession is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn’t satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina’s podcast uncover the truth?
The haunting premise hooked me right away. When Anna moved to Herron Mills to start a nannying job, everyone in town told her that she looked like a girl named Zoe… who had been missing for months. Since then, Anna began seeing visions of places she’d never been and memories she’d never had. The mystery kept me guessing every step of the way.
I loved the mysterious and chilling vibes of the setting, such as Anna’s neighbour’s home — an old mansion that had once been glorious, now rundown and overgrown with weeds. It was unsettling to read this novel at night!
The characters were more than what met the eye. Anna herself was an unreliable narrator, whose point of view I began to question later on throughout the novel. Several other characters who seemed at first friendly and amicable later turned out to be prime suspects of the mystery.
I enjoyed the format of the story, which was comprised mostly of narrative in alternating points of view (Anna and Martina’s) along with transcripts from Martina’s podcast. The variety in the format kept the story interesting.
The book kept me guessing until the very end. I had absolutely no idea who was responsible for Zoe’s disappearance and why. Many mysteries are somewhat predictable but I liked that this one wasn’t.
This novel was inspired by Rebecca which is a classic novel that I liked. I loved that the book borrowed elements from Rebecca without being a direct retelling of the story. It also channeled the same ghostly tone as Rebecca which was pretty cool.
Although I wasn’t able to predict the ending, I found it to be slightly… anticlimactic? It was interesting enough but I felt that I had expected more given all that had been set up in the beginning.
I felt that the pacing dragged towards the end. Although I was eager to get to the bottom of the mystery, the build up to the ending wasn’t as spectacular as expected.
I Killed Zoe Spanos is a gripping psychological thriller that captivated me from the first page and sent chills down my spine. I enjoyed the haunting tone of the story and the unpredictable twists and turns that had me guessing until the very end.
Have you read this book yet? What are your favourite YA mystery/thriller novels?
Photo by Atul Vinayak on Unsplash
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