Title: Cooper Bartholomew is Dead
Author: Rebecca James
Format/Length: ARC Paperback/336 pages
Publisher/Date Published: October 1st 2014/Allen & Unwin
Category/Genre: New Adult (Seems more NA-ish than YA, but maybe that’s my own opinion) /Mystery-Thriller
Source: Won! (Thanks Eugenia @ Genie In A Book/Chasm of Books and Allen & Unwin)
Description: Cooper Bartholomew’s body is found at the foot of a cliff.
That’s the official finding, that’s what everyone believes.
Cooper’s girlfriend, Libby, has her doubts. They’d been
happy, in love. Why would he take his own life?
As Libby searches for answers, and probes more deeply
into what really happened the day Cooper died, she and
her friends unravel a web of deception and betrayal.
Are those friends – and enemies – what they seem?
Who is hiding a dangerous secret? And will the truth set them all free?
3/5 stars —
Pretty much, this was me when I saw the blurb:
I was expecting something intriguing, thrilling, and engaging from this novel — and that’s exactly what I got.
This was a really good book.
I just want to say that first, because despite some of the issues that I had with the book, I really did enjoy reading it. I would read another novel by Rebecca James in a heartbeat; in fact, once my TBR pile has gone down a bit, I plan on reading her next novels as soon as I can. I’m so glad that I won a copy of this book, because I’m not sure how long it would have taken me to seek it out otherwise.
One of the strongest elements of the book, for sure, were the spectacularly crafted characters.
It’s so refreshing to read about characters that are so real and raw that they actually feel like real people. And when the people actually feel like people, so does their story. The story is told in several viewpoints — before Cooper died, and after.
Here is where my first issue was. The viewpoints.
I love multiple view points, truly, I do. Yet not when it flicks between first and third point of view — that, my friends, not only is quite an uncommon thing to see in a novel, but frustratingly jarring, too. Copper and Libby’s chapters were written in first person — the two main characters — while some of the other side characters (Seb and Claire) were done in third person. This is just a personal preference of mine, not a fault on the author’s behalf. I just want to make that clear. I found the switching to be jarring and frustrating — suddenly, I was thrown right into a character’s head, then was yanked out for Claire or Seb’s, into a close third person.
Second issue: This was predictable.
I saw everything that came, and as the mystery surrounding Cooper’s death unravelled, it was a little anti-climatic. I loved how the characters all worked together — or, in some cases not worked together — to discover what really happened to Cooper. Did he really kill himself? Was he murdered? Those are the sorts of questions that are going to be swirling around your head while reading this.
… But like I said, there was nothing shocking about this.
To me, this was more of a story of letting go, of dealing with a loved one’s lost than a story that’s going to blow your mind. And that’s okay — I was just expecting something more from the ending.
But hey — let’s not dwell on the negatives! Go read this book!
It was enjoyable. It was sad. It was well written. It was a really good novel.