Sunday, February 7, 2016

My Father Didn't Kill Himself

My Father Didn't Kill Himself by Russel Nohelty
Publisher - Wannabe Press
Publish Date - Est. July 2016
Genre - YA Mystery

My Rating:

Reading and posting a review for this novel was a bit of a special treat for me and I am excited to finally get to share it with you! The author is a friend of mine from high school and asked if I would be willing to read a beta version of his new mystery novel. Um, yes! How could I say no, especially after seeing the title?

The entire setup of the novel is very clever and sure to appeal to every 21st Century tech-addicted teen. The whole book is a series of school assigned blog posts between the 2 main characters, Delilah and her best friend Alex. Delilah thinks her family and life is perfect until her entire world is shattered when her father commits suicide. Delilah learns that her father's insurance policy won't pay out for suicide so she sets out to prove that the police made a mistake and her father was, in fact, murdered.

Delilah's journey sends her on a tailspin of emotions and changes her to her core. It affects everything around her, including her friendship with Alex. Each blog post by both girls take you deeply inside the turmoil that they both experience during this difficult time.

You know how people always say "don't judge a book by its cover"? Admittedly, I have never been good at this and this situation was no different. There were a few things right off the bat that made me skeptical about whether I would enjoy this book or not. First, I judged the title - while the title intrigued me, I definitely assumed the worst. The synopsis told me no different. I expected a heavy, depressing journey on how to deal with a close family death as a teenager. Teenagers. Third thing I judged. I knew this was a young adult novel and I didn't know if I had it in me to absorb teenage level angst. The one thing that made me doubt my initial judgement was the artwork on the cover. I knew that there was a good chance this book wasn't all serious with the comic-like high school book cover doodles.

As does most times when I cast a quick judgement, this book surprised me. The format was very unique and I thought it would really appeal to today's younger generation. It was really interesting to see how both Delilah and Alex changed and developed as the plot unfolded. The emotional roller coaster was true to the experience that all teenagers go through during high school. The writing style was refreshing. Sometimes when you read teenage books written by adults, the language is forced and unrealistic. That's not the case with this story. I actually felt like I was reading diary entries by teenagers.

My Father Didn't Kill Himself had some great plot twists and turns that I did not see coming. It kept me guessing the whole way through and I couldn't wait to see how it ended. The story went to some dark places and dealt with pretty serious issues but somehow managed to do it in a way that didn't make you completely depressed while reading. Delilah and Alex are true friends to the end, even though that relationship is tested over and over again.

Even though this is technically a Young Adult novel, I think it's appeal goes beyond that audience. If you enjoy a story with plot twists and a surprise ending, give this one a shot! It might give you some unexpected insight into the world of the modern day high schooler and remind you what it's like to be that young.

Pair This With: Middle Sister Rebel Red

I've loved this brand of wine for a long time. I'm a middle sister so I figured their wines couldn't do any wrong. They are delicious but they also have seriously sassy labels that I'm pretty much obsessed with. Rebel Red's label says "If anyone tells you they don't like red wine, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life". This wine is an easy drinking, semi-sweet red blend. It tends to be my go-to wine when I want something light and fruity.

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