Dirt Daughter by Michele Shaw
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Synopsis: “In Dirt Daughter, seventeen-year-old Elena Black has concealed the secret to her childhood friend’s murder for eight years. With the possibility of a college scholarship looming, she plans to keep that secret and flee her dysfunctional home; one with a drug-addicted mother, a stepsister she just met, and a bitter, abusive uncle. But, when a detective reopens the cold case and a friend sets her up on a date with the new boy at school, the past and present collide, threatening Elena’s future plans…and her life.”
Review: I haven’t read a true mystery novel for a while. I don’t know if this is because I’m not into the genre anymore or they don’t appeal to me as much as I always seem to think that they will. I’m not sure. However, Dirt Daughter was a pleasant surprise and a sort of gentle re-entering into the mystery genre.
Shaw’s writing style was a tad too straight-forward and at points felt like she used words that the main character wouldn’t. Yet, it was overall good for the suspense and confusion of the main character.
One of the defining characteristics of this book was the extreme unreliability of the main character. I love this aspect. Shaw pulls it off marvelously. Elena herself is keeping everything confusing and secretive for the reader and its one of my favorite parts of this book. It creates so much more suspense. I think that this book would be a completely different, flat book if Elena wasn’t written the way she was.
From the beginning, I was very intrigued about what happened. The mystery part was meh. I was ticked that the secret was revealed before the end. It made the part that was supposed to be wow omg can’t believe it was that person! moment not as big as I would’ve liked. Basically, the mystery itself was interesting, but the actual reality wasn’t as exciting.
The relationships in Dirt Daughter were also a good point. I enjoyed the continual effort on Chayton’s part. It didn’t feel like he made her better; it felt like his presence was encouraging her to be better. That’s definitely more picturesque than it is in reality, but that’s the goal for real life relationships (in my opinion anyways).
Dirt Daughter was a suspenseful and satisfying book, but it wasn’t a Wow! caliber book. The plot, characters, and relationships were enjoyable aspects of the book, while the style and the reveal itself were lacking.