They All Fall Down by Roxanne St. Claire
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Goodreads link: (click here)
What's it about?
When self-professed Latin geek Kenzie Summerall finds herself inexplicably on the schools yearly "Hottie List", a list of the ten hottest girls in school, her entire life changes. Before the list, it was just Kenzie and her equally nerdy best friend Molly hanging out together, but suddenly Kenzie is in the spotlight. She's invited to all the cool parties and has the attention of the cutest guy in school, Josh Collier. Josh is a gorgeous football star from a super rich family. Most of the parties are held at his house, and Kenzie had never been invited there before, so she's surprised that something as stupid as a hot list could change her social status in mere seconds. She's even more shocked when Josh wants her to be his girlfriend. This is every girl's dream, but Kenzie is no dummy. She's sure that something doesn't seem quite right about all of this. When mysterious accidents keep happening to her and the other girls on the list, she becomes even more suspicious, but it's not until the girls are turning up dead that she's sure there is something horrible going on. The deaths are happening in order of the girls number placement on the list, so Kenzie is running out of time before her own number is up.
With the help of the school's (totally hot) resident bad-boy, Levi Stirling, and her own smarts, Kenzie is determined to figure out what's really going on. Everyone is convinced that there's a Hottie List curse, but Kenzie doubts that, because a curse doesn't drive a black pick-up truck that seems to appear at every "accident" scene. Kenzie can't let whoever or whatever is hunting down the girls get to her as well, not just because she doesn't want to die, but because her parents already lost a child when her older brother, Conner, was killed in an accident a few years ago. She feels responsible for his death, so she can't bring any more heartache upon her family. So, it's time for Kenzie to summon her inner Veronica Mars and solve this mystery, but by the time it's all over, she may need to find her inner Indiana Jones. She's in for quite an adventure.
They All Fall Down is a fun, fast-paced mystery-thriller. It definitely kept me guessing the whole time. There was one thing I figured out, but it was a very small piece of the overall puzzle. The plot was complex enough to keep you thinking, plus, it was enjoyable and sprinkled with drama, adventure, humor and romance. The book was described as "Pretty Little Liars meets Final Destination", and I can see why. It does have a 90s-00s horror movie kind of feel to it, but it's not gory at all.
It's a little bit Veronica Mars and Scooby Doo with a dash of Nancy Drew and a little bit of The Goonies....
Besides that, it deals with popularity and friendship and what it's like when someone you know changes. When Kenzie gains her sudden popularity, her friend Molly feels like she's been left behind and she becomes incredibly jealous. It's also a family drama dealing with how the loss of child affects parents and siblings. Kenzie has to deal with all of this along with having her life in danger. Kenzie really is a great heroine, very smart, relatable and likable. Some of the story is slightly outlandish, but that's what makes it fun. I definitely got more than I expected from this book, and I really enjoyed it. Roxanne St. Claire also leaves it a bit open at the end for possible sequels, but closes the book itself out nicely. It would be interesting to see where it could possibly go next!