Friday, July 4, 2014

How Can You Kill the Buzz?!

There are enough mysteries about high school without adding murder to the list. When Millie stumbles upon a body, she becomes embroiled in murder mystery she never wanted to be in the middle of in the first place... especially because the victim had direct ties to her father. In Beth Fantaskey's Buzz Kill, the sleuthing rivals Nancy Drew!

Millie Ostermeyer lives with her father. She loves her father, but as the Assistant Coach of a big high school football team, his time is generally consumed by the goings-on of the sport. She has worried about him since her mother passed away, but he isn't exactly an open book, so she gives him his space. When her father's nemesis, the head Coach Killdare, is found dead on campus, Millie is not only traumatized since she was the one who found the body- she is worried that all the signs point to her father as being the one with real motive to do away with the jerky head coach.

Millie's unlikely partner-in-crime, the new and mysterious football star who doesn't seem to fit the mold of typical high school star athlete, helps her to uncover some of the secrets Killdare kept from everyone around him. The further she digs, the clearer it becomes that this murder is more mysterious than she ever thought it could be. Unfortunately, her father is still in the crosshairs of both the local police department and Millie's own nemesis, her arch-enemy on the school paper, is hellbent on making her father look guilty. She has to get to the bottom of the story and quickly if she has any hope of saving her father's reputation... and keeping him out of jail!

I loved Fantaskey's Jessica series. I hated the cover, and I thought the title was a total cheese-fest, but the characters were really fun and unique, and I loved the story itself! I mean, laugh-out-loud kind of awesomeness! So, I was thrilled to see her come out with something that had a great premise, a good title, and a far better cover (although it does feel a little hokey). But, my experience with her writing said I was going to like this story, and I really did! I have to say, however, it was certainly a little campy at times, and I think the campiest parts were with Millie. She was less unique than the characters in the Jessica series, and a little more of a "type," but I still liked her. Chase, however, was my favorite part of this story. There was a boy with a past that I couldn't wait to learn about. He did not fit any stereotype, and I was intrigued from the moment Millie laid eyes on him. Even Millie's dad and Killdare were great characters. She just wasn't as awesome for me as they were, which was a little hard since the book was about her!

The good part was the plot and the pacing was a lot of fun. It was just mysterious enough to hold your attention without being silly or too predictable. There was a lot at stake for Millie, and she took her job of sleuthing very, very seriously. In fact, you are going to see some references to Nancy Drew, which I appreciated because it pointed out the elephant in the room. Everything about the story felt very Nancy Drew, so it was important to acknowledge that fact rather than pretend it didn't exist. Overall, this book continues my love for Fantaskey, even though Millie wasn't my favorite character ever, and I will keep an eye out for this author's next project!

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