I first fell in love with Kelly’s feisty but flawed heroines in her more romance-y YA books starting with Amplified. Her focus on relationships between broken youngsters continues in The Foxglove Killings, where a group of rich teens who are in small coastal Oregon town for the summer are targeted by a vicious killer.
But that’s not the real focus here, the real focus is the trailer park friendship between local girl Nova and local boy Alex: both of whom who would feature heavily in the most-likely-to-work-at-Mcdonald’s portion of the high school yearbook.
Nova’s just been dumped by one of the rich tourists and she’s nursing her wounds and working at her grandfather’s diner.
There’s a history of bad blood, bullying, and emotional trauma that is slowly revealed throughout the story as Nova and Alex try to figure out who is behind the murders and some vandalism, and harrasment of Nova and her family.
Nova herself is wonderfully self-delusional and self-focused in that despite loving Alex she doesn’t really see him until he breaks out of her expectational mode by standing up for himself against the rich tourists. But in the latter half of the book, it was like she turned into an adult detective. Kelly’s writing style in Foxglove Killings is very action-orientated, straightforward, trimmed sentences that left little room for some of the lovely emotional angsting that I liked so much in the other books (and not quite enough Alex/Nova time after her big realization about their relationship)
So while this was enjoyable, the thriller/murder aspect felt too adult for the context of the relationships here at times, but it was still shocking fun.