Thursday, February 26, 2015

Review: Ugly Young Thing by Jennifer Jaynes

Ugly Young Thing by Jennifer Jaynes
Series: Grand Trespass, Book 2
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Thriller Ugly Young Thing Cover
ISBN: 9781477827352
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Sixteen-year-old Allie has already experienced a lifetime of horror, having lost her mother and serial killer brother to mental illness.

Returning to her childhood home in Louisiana, Allie ends up in foster care and is placed with Miss Bitty, an eccentric but kindly older woman who shows her a new direction and brighter future.

But Allie’s new life takes a devastating turn when young women in the area start turning up dead, and she begins to see shadowy figures outside her bedroom. As Miss Bitty grows inexplicably distant, a nagging voice makes Allie wonder if death has found her yet again…or if it never really left her at all.

Ugly Young Thing is a dark psychological thriller tinged with sadness. Author Jennifer Jaynes has a strong, compelling voice that had me reading late into the night.

Allie’s life has been filled with trauma, abuse, and murder from day one. After the death of her mother and brother (both serial killers), Allie finds herself utterly alone and without resources. When a second chance with a kind foster mother presents itself, Allie’s suspicious. My heart broke for Allie; she’s emotionally scarred, has a distorted sense of herself, and is simply so painfully young to have been through all she has. I wanted to see her get the help she needed to start the healing process. Even as she finds that with Bitty, her foster mother, things take a turn. Another serial killer is on the loose and it seems like Allie will never be able to find peace.

To say much more about the plot of Ugly Young Thing would be spoiling the story, for the fun of a mystery or thriller is watching events unfold. We get several points of view, though Allie and the killer are our primary storytellers. Ms. Jaynes does a fantastic job of fleshing out both of them even as she keeps you guessing as to who the killer is. I love a thriller that keeps me on the edge of my seat, and the suspense is definitely high in Ugly Young Thing. The only real niggle I had about the story was the ending. I was left with questions that continue to bother me, yet at the same time I have to admit that the ending was effectively haunting.

Ugly Young Thing is the sequel to Never Smile at Strangers, but it can be read as a standalone. I haven’t yet read Never Smile at Strangers, but even knowing major plot points of that story I’ll still be picking it up. Ms. Jaynes knows how to write an edgy, compelling thriller that will have your heart pounding. I can’t wait to come back for more!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.